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UMass Medical School postdoctoral fellow Anna Loveland named STAT Wunderkind

Early career scientist recognized for using cryo-electron microscopy to reveal molecular structures

By Sandra Gray

UMass Medical School Communications

November 16, 2020
Anna Loveland, PhD

UMass Medical School postdoctoral fellow Anna Loveland, PhD, has been named a STAT Wunderkind by the health and science media company STAT. STAT Wunderkinds honors the brightest young minds in life science for their work in academia, industry and in the clinic.

“It is a great honor to have the fruit of years of hard work recognized. My recent efforts have visualized the ribosome during translation and have given us a molecular movie of how ribosomes correctly make proteins,” said Dr. Loveland.  “Working with my mentor to analyze and interpret the large number of cryo-electron microscopy maps needed to make this movie has been the highlight of my career.”

Loveland studies ribosome structure during mRNA translation and peptide elongation in the lab of Andrei Korostelev, PhD, associate professor of RNA therapeutics. She is first author on the study that supported her Wunderkind nomination, published in July in the journal Nature.

She and co-investigators, including Dr. Korostelev, captured in unprecedented real-time detail, using state-of-the-art, time-resolved, cryo-electron microscopy, the stages in which ribosomes synthesize life-sustaining proteins.

“Anna is an insightful and fearless scientist, who I am honored to work with. Since joining the lab in 2015, she has tackled several important and challenging projects aimed at understanding how the ribosome senses stress in cells, and how the ribosome accurately reads the genetic instructions encoded in messenger RNA,” said Korostelev. “A terrific colleague, always willing to collaborate with other labs and to work with students to share her passion for science, Anna exemplifies positivity and drive, an inspiration to all who study biology.”

Produced by Boston Globe Media, STAT covers health, medicine and scientific discovery. A team of STAT editors and reporters evaluated hundreds of nominations from across North America on the hunt for the most impressive physicians and researchers on the cusp of launching their careers but not yet fully independent. All are blazing new trails as they attempt to answer some of the biggest questions in science and medicine.

Loveland, who has previously been recognized by the RNA Society, will be among the 26 STAT Wunderkinds participating via Zoom at the 2020 STAT Summit taking place Nov. 17 and 18. Read her Wunderkind profile here.

Related stories on UMassMed News:
State-of-the-art UMMS Cryo-Electron Microscopy Core Facility growing, expanding its reach
UMass Medical School researchers visualize new states of ribosome translation with cryo-EM