Congratulations to Hyeon-Jin Kim who has been selected as the Dean’s Medalist for the Natural Sciences! Each year the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences recognizes the top student in each of the College’s four divisions of arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Recipients are selected on the basis of grade point average and faculty recommendations. Hyeon-Jin Kim is graduating Summa Cum Laude with a BS Biochemistry, BS Chemistry and BS ACMS with departmental honors. We are fortunate that he will be staying at the UW as he matriculates into the UW PhD program in Genome Sciences next year!
Congratulations to our graduating seniors that have been selected to receive our award for Distinguished Research in Chemistry and Distinguished Research in Biochemistry! This year’s recipients of the award for Distinguished Research in Chemistry are:
Kimberly Anderson (Professor Synovec group)
Catherine Chang (Professor Keller group)
Ryan Chu (Professor Theberge group)
Mitchell Kaiser (Professor Gamelin group)
Hyeon-Jin Kim (Professor Vaughan group)
Felix Leeb (Professor Maibaum group)
This year’s recipients of the award for Distinguished Research in Biochemistry are:
Hyung Chan Brian Kim (Professor King)
Andrew McAlister (Professor Ruohola-Baker)
Cecilia Nguyen(Professor Kwon)
Donovan Phua (Professor Klevit)
Natali Shumlak (Professor Klevit)
Penghan Yang (Professor Kimelman)
Congratulations to Jie Yin who has been named to the 2018 Husky 100! The Husky 100 honors 100 UW undergraduates and graduate students in all areas of study who actively connect what happens inside and outside of the classroom and apply what they learn to make a difference on campus, in their communities and for the future. Through their passion, leadership and commitment, these students inspire all of us to shape our own Husky Experience.
Congratulations to Sedona Ewbank who has been named to the 2018 Husky 100! The Husky 100 honors 100 UW undergraduates and graduate students in all areas of study who actively connect what happens inside and outside of the classroom and apply what they learn to make a difference on campus, in their communities and for the future. Through their passion, leadership and commitment, these students inspire all of us to shape our own Husky Experience.
Congratulations to Alder Strange who has been named the Junior Medalist for 2016-2017! For nearly 40 years, the University of Washington has celebrated the top undergraduate in each class by awarding them the President’s Medalist distinction. Recipients are selected by a committee for their high GPA, rigor of their classes and number of Honors courses. A biochemistry and musical theater double major, Alder also participates in the Interdisciplinary Honors Program. Through Honors, she’s taken advantage of several unique learning-beyond-the-classroom opportunities, including a natural history field study course and study abroad trip to Ecuador. Outside of class, you can catch Alder in one of her many co-curriculars: In the lab, as a researcher in Dr. Cole DeForest’s lab where she investigates the application of a new protein to the hydgrogel-based systems of drug delivery; on the soccer field, as a regular member of her pick-up soccer team; at her old elementary school with Professor Marjorie Olmstead, teaching math to students; and on stage, as part of the UW’s production of “Anything Goes”. With the long-term goal of being a pediatrician and researcher, she is excited to draw from her broad interests to find balance.
Congratulations to Grace Wang who has been named the Freshman Medalist for the Academic Year 2016-2017! For nearly 40 years, the University of Washington has celebrated the top undergraduate in each class by awarding them the President’s Medalist distinction. Recipients are selected by a committee for their high GPA, rigor of their classes and number of Honors courses. Grace is a pre-med biochemistry student with the goal of becoming a pediatrician. She recently joined a qualitative clinical research team at Seattle Children’s where along with her team, she is working on improving care coordination for medically complex cases through cloud-based care plans. Outside of research, Grace plays violin in chamber groups on campus and even started her own business teaching violin to children. An avid artist, she also volunteers as an illustrator for the undergraduate neuroscience journal, Grey Matters, where she is able to combine her love of art with her interest in scientific research. For now, her dedication to helping people is clear. She is a founding member of Synapse at the University of Washington, an organization that connects people with traumatic brain injuries to resources in the greater community, and volunteers as a healing music volunteer at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA). In this role, she plays welcoming and soothing violin music in waiting rooms throughout SCCA.
Congratulations to senior Timothy Welsh who has been selected as a Churchill Scholar! Tim is one of only 15 US scholars selected for the prestigious Churchill scholarship. Selection is based on proven talent in research and ability to make significant contributions in the sciences, engineering or mathematics. The scholarship covers full tuition for one year of master’s study at Churchill College in the University of Cambridge; a stipend; travel costs; and a chance to apply for a $2,000 special research grant.
Welsh first worked in a lab as a high school student during a summer internship at the Oregon Health & Sciences University, and has been researching ever since, working in labs from the UW to Switzerland. In 2017, Welsh published a first-author paper, sharing the results of his summertime work in Dr. Walter Loveland’s nuclear chemistry lab at Oregon State University. Currently a member of Professor Stephen Stoll’s lab, Welsh’s research now focuses on developing techniques to determine the structure and changing shapes of proteins.
As a Churchill scholar, Welsh will complete a master’s degree in chemistry at Cambridge. There, Welsh will join the lab of Professor Tuomas Knowles — a leader in the field of microfluidic techniques within biophysics — to study properties of ribonucleoprotein (RNP) granule formation and propagation. Building on his past research experiences, Welsh plans to use microfluidic techniques to better understand how granules function within the cell, both when healthy and when mutated. The long-term goal of this research is to better understand how these mutations are related to neurodegenerative diseases, such as ALS and Huntington’s.
After earning his master’s at Cambridge, he plans to return to the U.S. to pursue a Ph.D. with an emphasis in chemical biology. He hopes to one day educate the public about the importance of the microscopic biochemical world and act as a liaison between scientists and policy makers.
Congratulations to John Goldstone (BS Chemistry, Winter 2018) for receiving a $225,000 NSF grant to support his startup company, Boydston Chemical Innovations, Inc. (BCI). BCI uses patent-pending technology discovered in the UW Department of Chemistry Boydston Research Group to utilize a metal-free approach to making high performance resins and polymers. The company hopes they will be able to provide efficient routes to producing lightweight high-toughness production parts that could be used in vehicles to increase fuel efficiency, agricultural equipment, wind energy turbine blades, medical implants, and bullet-proof plastic composites.
John’s educational background (BA in Business Administration, Master of Business Administration, BS Chemistry) and rich experience as the Director of Commercialization and Licensing at Weyerhaeuser have been instrumental to propelling the startup company forward. Barry Johnson, Director of the NSF’s Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships states “The National Science Foundation supports small businesses with the most innovative, cutting-edge ideas that have potential to become great commercial success and make huge societal impacts. We hope that this seed funding will spark solutions to some of the most important challenges of our time across all areas of science and technology.”
Congratulations to Sedona Ewbank, Julia Joo, and Briana Lee for winning Washington Research Scholarships!
Sedona is currently a senior majoring in Neurobiology and Biochemistry at the University of Washington. Most recently, Sedona’s interest in the relationship between the central nervous system and the gut microbiota has led her to join the Palmiter Laboratory in the Department of Biochemistry. In the Palmiter Laboratory, she is investigating whether a group of neurons in the hypothalamus which are known to drive feeding behavior, AgRP neurons, may also have a role in shaping the composition of the gut microbiota to promote energy homeostasis. This research project could provide insight into how humans regulate the microbiome in health and in disease. Following the completion of her bachelor’s degree, Sedona plans to attend graduate school in order to earn a Ph.D. and pursue a career in academic research.
Julia is a senior studying Biochemistry and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. She is exploring the mutator phenotype of cancer, which theorizes that mutation rates are elevated in cancer cells and thus lead to the accumulation of mutations that accelerate tumorigenesis. She is interested in identifying mutations in genes that can modulate mutation rates, as understanding their functions may contribute to novel approaches for cancer treatments by targeting the mutator phenotype. She is specifically investigating the methods by which Chromosome Transmission Factor (Ctf18) suppresses mutation rates in yeast deficient in DNA polymerase epsilon proofreading, potentially via novel mechanisms involving direct interaction with the polymerase.
Briana Lee is a senior undergraduate student majoring in both neurobiology and biochemistry. Briana is interested in how physics and chemistry can be applied to explain biological phenomenon. She has a passion for interdisciplinary studies and her current research involves processing neuroimaging data to analyze functional connectivity networks in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Functional networks are clusters of neurons within the brain that activate together when completing a certain task. These networks are not well characterized or understood and Briana is interested in quantifying how a specific functional network called the default mode network (DMN) changes during AD progression. She is also interested in how the DMN behaves differently across individuals, potentially providing insight to how environmental or demographic characteristics can affect an individual’s network capabilities. After graduating from UW, she hopes to attend medical school, while continuing research in a neurobiology-related field.