Congratulations to our 2019 winners!
- James Bowden — California Institute of Technology
- Azadeh Hadadianpour — Vanderbilt University
- Colin Mann — University of California, San Diego
- Stella Paffenholz — Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
- Isha Puri — Harvard University
- Salil Uttarwar — Washington University in St. Louis
2019 scholarship recipient biographies
An incoming freshman at Cal Tech, James plans to pursue an academia career in biomedical research. He is currently investigating the mechanism of telomere clustering and subsequent elongation in ALT cancer in the lab of Dr. Jerry Shay at the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center. Active in biomedical research since entering the 8th grade, James has contributed to several projects, most notably designing and testing a RNR-expressing AAV6 vector to treat heart failure and examining the role of polyX regions in fungal pathogen Candida glabrata’s stress response effectiveness. In the future he hopes to earn a MD/PhD and launch his own lab in an area where he can make an impact — potentially immunoengineering, synthetic biology or cancer research. Outside the lab, James is an Eagle Scout who enjoys reading, camping and enjoying the outdoors.
PhD candidate: Immunology and Molecular Pathology
A 4th year PhD student at Vanderbilt University majoring in Immunology and molecular pathology, Azadeh’s current research in Dr. Scott Smith’s lab is focused on characterizing human IgE antibodies, which are elevated in the course of parasitic worm infection and allergy, two completely unrelated diseases. For the first time work in the Smith lab has generated full-length naturally occurring human IgE monoclonal antibodies from patients with parasitic worm infections and patients with various allergies. Azadeh is now using these IgE antibodies as tools to identify immunodominant antigens in parasitic worms and to introduce new targets for vaccine development. In addition, the results from human IgE repertoire analysis in patients with various allergies will provide insight into novel diagnostic tools and therapy options for allergy. As a future scientist, Azadeh’s focus is on becoming an expert in antibody research and she hopes her work will make a real scientific contribution to this field.
Colin is a member of UCSD’s class of 2020 majoring in microbiology with aspirations of an immunology-focused PhD. While maintaining his 4.0 GPA, he has established himself as a promising researcher during his 3-year internship at Scripps Research in La Jolla, CA. Colin has so far acquired 3 co-authorships for his work on HIV vaccine design and characterization under Associate Professor Jiang Zhu. His research is primarily focused on developing subunit vaccine candidates for major pathogens and presenting them on multivalent self-assembling nanoparticles as an idealized platform. Colin intends to maintain these efforts into his graduate studies and is currently working to create novel immunization strategies for Tuberculosis. With the significant prevalence of these deadly diseases in developing countries, Colin hopes to advance research into safe, affordable and effective vaccines to mitigate transmission and prevent millions of deaths worldwide. In his free time, Colin enjoys exploring other research areas, mountain biking, and spending time with friends and family.
PhD Candidate: Molecular Biosciences – Cancer Biology
A doctoral candidate at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, Stella’s current work focuses on developing innovative genetic tools to understand the process of senescence, a tumor-suppressive mechanism de-regulated in cancer. Stella completed her undergraduate in Molecular Biomedicine at the University of Bonn, Germany, and subsequently earned a Master’s degree through a Helmholtz International Graduate School for Cancer Research Fellowship at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, Germany. As chair of GSK Women in Science, Stella strives to advance gender equality and diversity in science. She is also part of the leadership team of the Tri-Institutional Biotech Club aiming to bridge the gap between academic research and pharmaceutical industry to ultimately turn academic breakthroughs into therapies for cancer patients. In her free time, Stella is an enthusiastic traveler and enjoys cycling and marathon running.
Major: Computational Biology
Isha Puri is a freshman at Harvard University majoring in computational biology. She is passionate about innovating technologies at the intersection of computer science and healthcare, having previously created an application that provided screenings for dyslexia to anyone with access to a laptop (research for which she has been named a Google Science Fair Global Finalist and a winner of the ACM Cutler Bell Prize for Excellence in Computing, among other honors). She has interned at the Harvard Center for Brain Science, the Stanford Departments of Genetics and Computer Science, and the Stony Brook Center for Materials Science Engineering on research projects at the intersection of computer science and biology: a model for the movement of drugs through hydrogels, for example. In the future, she hopes to continue exploring the various applications of computer science for societal good.
Major: Genomics and Computational Biology
Minor: Computer Science
Salil Uttarwar is a third-year undergraduate student at Washington University in St. Louis majoring in Genomics and Computational Biology and minoring in Computer Science. He currently works in the lab of Dr. Daniel C. Link at Washington University School of Medicine. Salil’s research focuses on the role of TGF-Beta signaling in Mesenchymal Stromal cells towards the development of myelofibrosis and disruption of hematopoietic niches. In the future, he plans on becoming a physician and hopes to incorporate his research and computational methods towards improving treatments for patients. Outside of the lab, Salil enjoys cooking, making art, and volunteering.
Christopher is a member of the University of Houston’s 2018 freshman class and one of 10 students in the 3/4 accelerated BS/MD program, majoring in Biomedical Science. Previously, Christopher investigated the ability of specialized peptides and antibodies that target myosin subfragment-2 to modulate muscle contraction at the University of North Texas under Dr. Douglas Root, co-authoring a publication in the Biophysical Journal. Now part of Dr. Chengzhi Cai’s laboratory at the University of Houston, Christopher researches the ability of benign E. coli to form biofilms on silicon catheters, widely used in biomedical devices, to reduce pathogen colonization. In the future, Christopher aims to benefit others by conducting both clinical research and international medical missions as a physician. In his free time, Christopher enjoys creating songs on the piano, weightlifting, and spending time with friends.
Kritika is an undergraduate student at Northeastern University majoring in Bioengineering with a focus in cell and tissue engineering, chemistry, and global health. At the Mazitschek Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital, Kritika is currently working to establish an assay platform to allow the simultaneous profiling of the specificity of epigenetic modulators and their small molecule inhibitors in the context of a diverse set of histone modifications. Outside of class, Kritika gives back to society as the CEO of the non-profit, Malaria Free World Inc., advocating for malaria research and prevention. She is also the webmaster of the undergraduate engineering research journal, Embark, and is the director of Northeastern’s first global health conference.
Oscar is a senior at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in biology with a concentration in computational biology and a minor in chemistry. His current research at Dr. James Shorter’s laboratory focuses on engineering substrate-specific variants of Hsp104, a yeast disaggregase, as a potential therapy for neurodegenerative diseases. Oscar is planning to pursue a PhD in biological sciences and hopes to, one day, become a university professor. During his free time, Oscar enjoys practicing his French, reading manga, and sharing fun facts about Ecuador, his home.
Vanja Tolj is a junior at The Ohio State University majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Global Public Health. As an aspiring physician, she hopes to incorporate translational research in her practice to improve the lives of her patients. Her current research focuses on determining how forced displacement contributes to the onset of dementia in the Serbian population. In her free time, Vanja contributes her time to TEDxOhioStateUniversity as a speaker coach and leading the GlobeMed chapter at OSU.
Jessica is an aspiring physician scientist in the MD/PhD program at UCLA. Jessica completed her undergraduate and master’s degrees concurrently in UCLA’s rigorous Departmental Scholars Program, and she is now pursuing her PhD in the laboratory of Karen Reue. Jessica’s research focuses on lipid metabolism, studying the role of a novel gene Diet1 in bile acid homeostasis as well as kidney proximal tubule function.
A doctoral candidate at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the Cellular and Molecular Medicine PhD Program, Kekoa’s current work focuses on cancer gene transcription programs associated with the Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) and how they modulate cancer metabolism. In the future, Kekoa plans to pursue his Medical Degree upon completion of his PhD; ultimately his goal is to return home to Hawai‘i as a physician-scientist prepared to advance medical discoveries that will impact the health of his Native Hawaiian communities.
Peter Cabeceiras is a junior at Rice University, majoring in Biochemistry and Cell Biology. Peter holds a college student researcher position in the laboratory of Dr. Lynda Chin in the Department of Genomic Medicine at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) with a focus on cancer research.
A High School graduate at 16, Kristin Qian began her research work at the Oregon Health and Science University Knight Cancer Institute in Dr. Brian Druker’s Laboratory and is now attending Princeton University as a pre-med major.
Casey is currently working toward a degree in biology at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is deeply intrigued by the unknown in the world, and looks forward to learning about diseases and conditions that have yet to be cured.
- James C. Bowden – California Institute of Technology
- Azadeh Hadadianpour — Vanderbilt University
- Colin J. Mann — University of California, San Diego
- Stella Paffenholz — Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School
- Isha Puri — Harvard University
- Salil Uttarwar — Washington University in St. Louis
- Rachael Adams – The Ohio State University
- Shannon Esswein – California Institute of Technology
- Veeraj Shah – University of Maryland
- Christopher Thang – University of Houston
- Jeffrey Zhou – Yale University
- Name withheld due to NCAA rules
- Nathaniel Deimler of Nova Southeastern University
- Ana Enriquez of Emory University
- Micheal Munson of Baylor University
- Kritika Singh of Northeastern University
- Emily Xu of Yale University
- Joshua Yang of Johns Hopkins University
- Joyce Kang of Stanford University
- Oscar Hernandez Murillo of University of Pennsylvania
- Danielle Mzyk of North Carolina State University
- Nicholas Page of Rutgers University
- John Pluvinage of Stanford University School of Medicine
- Lillian Xu of Princeton University
- Brad Foster of Duke University
- Pranati Pillutla of Texas Tech Health Science Center School of Medicine
- Christina Tan of Rice University
- Vanja Tolj of The Ohio State University
- Anthony J. Treichel of Winona State University
- Jason Cheng-ting Tsai of Stanford University
- Aswin Bikkani of University of Cincinnati
- Akhil Garg of Virginia Commonwealth University
- Madeline Keleher of Washington University in St. Louis
- Jessica Ong of University of California, Los Angeles
- Pia Sen of University of Texas at Dallas
- Mohamed Soliman of Cornell University
- Fatima Nizamuddin of University of Wisconsin, Madison
- Yeshwant Chillakuru of The George Washington University
- Yuyan Cheryl Mai of Yale University
- Louis “Bobby” Hollingsworth of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
- Marisa Egan of Saint Joseph’s University
- Kekoa Taparra of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
- Michael Zhu Chen of Stanford University
- Claire Liu of University of Chicago
- Peter Cabeceiras of Rice University
- Christina Rudolph of Siena College
- Jean-Nicholas Gallant of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
- Adrienne Snyder of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Kristin Qian of Princeton University
- Alexandra Tamerius of University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Ryan Lindeborg of Harvard College
- Adriano Bellotti of North Carolina State University
- Nicole Olson of University of California-San Francisco
- Graham Walmsley of Stanford University
- Wen Chyan of University of Wisconsin, Madison
- Matthew Jeffreys of Stanford University
- Rachel Marty of University of California, San Diego
- Casey Miller of Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis
- Catherine Norman of Trinity University
- Max Wallack of Boston University
- Chandler Burke of Rice University
- Melissa Dang of University of Oklahoma
- Michael Neiger of Ohio State University
- Lauren Nowacki of Texas A&M University
- Lindsey Rogers of Yale University
- Kelly Wallin of University of Wisconsin, Madison
- Jeanette Wat of Rice University
- Jack Huang of Harvard University
- Brandon Fennell of Stanford University
- Nrithya Sundararaman of University of Miami
- Douglas Bennion of University of Florida
- David Han of Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Nigel Reuel of Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Erik Schieda of Duke University
- Jonathan Tsai of Stanford University
- Shannamar Dewey of University of California, Davis
- Priya Pathak of University of Wisconsin, Madison
Scholarship program support
If you have any questions or experience any difficulties regarding your scholarship submission, please contact our scholarship coordinator by email at AntibodyScholarship@thermofisher.com.
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