Five students receive Washington Research Foundation Fellowships

Congratulations to Marvin Nayan, Ben Horst, Evan Boyle, Derek Nhan, and Matt Sonnett who have received Washington Research Foundation Fellowships.  Washington Research Foundation Fellowships (WRFF)  for advanced undergraduates support promising students who work on creative and sophisticated science and engineering research projects under the guidance of UW faculty. WRFFs target undergraduates who have already participated in undergraduate research for at least three quarters and who are working beyond an introductory level in a project that requires creativity and advanced knowledge.

Marvin Nayan is a senior studying Neurobiology and Biochemistry. Marvin’s project investigates the genetic factors of dendrite patterning and maintenance morphology in fruit fly sensory neurons. He is hopeful this research will contribute to our understanding of genetic mechanisms underlying the maintenance of neuronal function.

 

Evan Boyle is a senior studying Microbiology and Biochemistry. Long fascinated by the often subtle distinction between healthy and diseased conditions, he worked on genotyped multiple transgenic mouse lines and expressed recombinant enzymes in E. coli and Sf9 cells to study the role of secreted phospholipases A2 in asthma and other conditions.

 

Ben Horst is  a senior in Chemistry & Biochemistry.  Ben works in the Mayer lab studying reduction/oxidation and biomimetic inorganic chemistry, and nanoparticles. Ben’s first project  involved studying a reduction/oxidation mechanism called a Multiple-Site Concerted Proton Electron Transfer reaction. His new project combines TiO2 nanoparticles and Concerted Proton Electron Transfer to complete a non-trivial two electron, two proton transfer.

Derek Nhan is a senior majoring in Biochemistry and Neurobiology. He is currently doing research in the Becker lab and has been involved in several projects associated with the consequences of post-stroke cerebrovascular damage and his most recent project focuses on the morphologies of neuronal damage as a marker for worse clinical outcome.

 

Matthew Sonnett is a senior Biochemistry major who is currently working with Professor Mike Gelb. His research involves  making small molecule inhibitors that can be used to better understand the role of several proteins intimately involved in a number of inflammatory events.

Two students named as Levinson Emerging Scholars

We are pleased to announce that Emily Hsieh and Ben Horst have been named Levinson Emerging Scholars.  The Levinson Emerging Scholars Program supports talented and highly motivated UW juniors and seniors who want to pursue creative and highly independent research in genetics, neuroscience, biochemistry, bioengineering, bioinformatics, and related fields in the life sciences.As Levinson Emerging Scholars,  undergraduates receive funding to support focused, independent research in these disciplines for up to two academic years.

Emily Hsieh was worked under the direction of her mentors Drs. Harmit Malik and Nitin Phadnis, where she has been involved in various projects exploring genetic conflict and speciation in the context of Drosophila. With the generous support of the Levinson Emerging Scholars Program, Emily hopes to continue her research in understanding the genetic basis of speciation in Drosophila and contribute to the understanding of the origin of species. The culmination of Emily’s undergraduate experience as a biochemistry student and as a Malik lab undergraduate researcher has strengthened her desire to pursue a PhD.

Ben Horst is currently a senior and will graduate in the spring with degrees in Chemistry (BS, ACS certified), Biochemistry (BA), and Mathematics (minor) as well as College Honors and Departmental Honors in Chemistry and Biochemistry. He got his first research experience the summer after his freshman year in the lab of Professor Sarah Keller fabricating and analyzing model cellular membranes. With the Keller group he presented work at the Undergraduate Research Symposium, the Northwest ACS Undergraduate Symposium, and the 2012 National Biophysical Society Meeting. The time he spent in the Keller Lab propelled him to take the next step in his research career by joining the group of Professor James Mayer in studying inorganic chemistry, specifically reduction/oxidation and biomimetic inorganic chemistry, and nanoparticles. When Ben first joined the Mayer group, he undertook a project himself without a graduate student or postdoctoral mentor to study a specific type of reduction/oxidation mechanism called a Multiple-Site Concerted Proton Electron Transfer reaction in which a carbon hydrogen bond is cleaved by transferring the proton to a base and the electron to an oxidant. Now he is collaborating on a new project that combines TiO2 nanoparticles and Concerted Proton Electron Transfer to complete a non-trivial two electron, two proton transfer under relatively mild conditions.When not in the lab, Ben enjoys TAing in the Chemistry department, running, hiking, sports, and music, playing snare drum in the University of Washington Drumline and singing bass in an a cappella choir on campus.

Congratulations Emily and Ben!