Graduate students receive fellowships to research disease and precision health platforms

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Five students from the University of Notre Dame have received fellowships through the Institute for Precision Health’s fellowship programs. The Institute for Precision Health (IPH) supports several programs and research experiences for student researchers during a key part of their education, both on campus and with clinical collaborators.

The 2021 Institute for Precision Health fellowship recipients are as follows:

Berry Family Foundation Graduate Fellowships

The Berry Family Foundation Graduate Fellowships are awarded each year to graduate students for 12 months to investigate issues that align with the mission of IPH.

  • Bradley Keegan, graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and member of Brian Blagg’s lab. The fellowship will support his work to explore the underlying mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders and establish Aha1, or Activator of Hsp90 ATPase Homolog 1, as a therapeutic target.
  • Lindy Sherman, graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and member of the Jon Camden lab. The fellowship will support her research on N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) ligands for nanoparticle based biological assays, which is crucial for the utilization of NHC-based nanoparticle systems in biomedical applications.

Institute for Precision Health Fellowship

The Institute for Precision Health Fellowship is awarded to a graduate student for 12 months pursuing research of high interest.

  • Alex Boomgarden, graduate student in the Department of Biological Sciences and member of Crislyn D’Souza-Schorey’s lab. The fellowship will support the exploration of microvesicle (MV) biology and identification of new regulators for extracellular MV biogenesis, which carries potential as a versatile platform in precision medicine.

The Leiva Graduate Fellowship in Precision Medicine

The Leiva Graduate Fellowship in Precision Medicine awards summer funding to one outstanding Notre Dame student showing promise in the area of precision health medicine research, acknowledging academic achievement, financial need, character and qualities of leadership.

  • Loan Duong, graduate student in the Integrated Biomedical Sciences program and member of the Xin Lu Lab. The fellowship will support research into the development of an informed chimeric antigen receptor-engineered natural killer therapy to treat advanced prostate cancer.

The O’Brien Family Endowment for Excellence Fellowship

The O’Brien Family Endowment for Excellence Fellowship awards summer funding to one Notre Dame graduate student researching the development of biomedical tools and techniques.

  • Iker Soto Satarriaga, graduate student in the Integrated Biomedical Sciences program and member of Patricia L. Clark’s lab. The fellowship will support research on the exploration and design of an experimental platform for the study of Alpha-synuclein misfolding, which plays a role in Parkinson’s disease.

“The Institute for Precision Health is once again grateful for the generosity of the families and organizations who support these fellowships for Notre Dame’s dynamic graduate students who are executing research related to improving medicine and combating disease,” said Paul Bohn, IPH faculty director and the Arthur J. Schmitt Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and professor of chemistry and biochemistry. “Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the great importance of health care workers and researchers is all the more evident. These students are the future of scientific research and medicine, and the institute is eager to witness the lasting impacts of their outstanding work.”

For more information on the fellowships and other IPH research opportunities, visit precisionhealth.nd.edu/opportunities/.

Originally published by James Gilman at precisionhealth.nd.edu on June 24.