A Trifecta of Fellowships for BMP Post-docs!

Date Posted: 10/05/11

trifectaDr. Tracey Lincoln in the Zamore Lab was awarded the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award for Postdoctoral Fellows, a fellowship awarded by the National Institutes of Health to provide support to promising postdoctoral applicants who have the potential to become productive and successful independent research investigators. Dr. Lincoln’s work focuses on the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway—an evolutionarily conserved cellular defense against foreign or parasitic genetic elements that ensures genetic stability. Dr. Lincoln is determining whether RNAi can occur in the living fly when the processing of dsRNA into siRNAs and the loading of siRNAs into functional RNAi complexes are decoupled.

Postdoctoral associate Alicia Bicknell in Melissa Moore’s Lab was awarded the Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellowship. Whitney Fellows have become some of the most highly regarded medical and scientific professionals in their respective fields, and have served as mentors to succeeding generations of scientists. The award is for Dr. Bicknell’s research on the molecular changes that occur during synaptic plasticity, which is the strengthening or weakening of synaptic connections that occurs during learning. Dr. Bicknell is specifically studying the role of the nonsense-mediated mRNA decay pathway in effecting synaptic changes during neuronal stimulation.

Xin Li, Ph.D., a postdoctoral associate in the Zamore Lab was recently awarded the prestigious Jane Coffin Childs Fellowship. The Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research was established in 1937 by the late Miss Alice S. Coffin and Mr. Starling W. Childs, which awards highly qualified scientists the opportunity to pursue research into the causes and origins of cancer. Dr. Li studies the piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA) pathway, which is a vital cellular mechanism that ensures genomic integrity in germ cells and is activated in several types of cancer. Dr. Li plans to test the function and regulation of this pathway, and hopefully uncover the secret of ‘eternal youth’ of germ-line stem cells.

Congratulations to Tracey, Alicia and Xin!!