This story is adapted from the original, posted here.
One graduate student in the department of biochemistry, and two in the department of neurobiology, have been awarded the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) for 2022. In total, twenty University of Utah graduate students have been offered GRFP awards this year, the largest U cohort to date.
The prestigious fellowship supports outstanding doctoral and research-based master’s students doing research in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, disciplines. A total of 17 fellowship winners received their baccalaureate degrees here at the U, the largest group of winners ever who trained at the U as undergraduates.
“We had really moved the mark over the past few years, but this year we hit it out of the park,” said David Kieda, dean of the U’s Graduate School.
The three U of U Health awardees are:
Jordan Grammar (Moriel Zelikowsky Lab, neurobiology) - Grammar is examining the impact of social isolation on social behaviors and the neural circuits that underly these effects. Ultimately, this research could contribute toward an understanding of how loneliness is encoded in the brain.
Nicole Losurdo (Nichole Link Lab, neurobiology) – Losurdo is using the fruit fly as an animal model to discover and describe the role of the gene adipose. Understanding this novel pathway will provide new insights into the development of the brain and its functions.
Shai-anne Nalder (Paul Sigala Lab, biochemistry) – Nalder’s research is illuminating how iron is trafficked and used in Plasmodium, parasites that cause malaria. This work is helping to understand how the antimalaria drug doxycycline works to prevent disease with the goal of optimizing use of the drug and uncovering additional drug targets.
Human genetics graduate student Kayla Eschenbacher and psychiatry graduate student Maci Jacobson received honorable mentions.
Established in 1952, the NSF GRFP is the oldest fellowship program of its kind. The 2022 fellows receive a three-year annual stipend of $34,000, a $12,000 cost of allowance for tuition and fees, and numerous research and professional development opportunities.
Kieda notes that this year’s cohort of 20 fellows is the sixth highest among Pac-12 peers and includes graduate students in 16 different departments, ranging from Child Development to Ecology to Biomedical Engineering.
Congratulations to all U of U 2022 NSF GFRP Fellows:
Devaki Abhyankar, biomedical engineering
Tyler Ball, chemical catalysis
Hannah Duffy, biomedical engineering
Robert Falconer, biomedical engineering
Oliver Flatt, formal methods, verification and programming languages
Jordan Grammer, neurosciences
Cleo Hancock, chemical engineering
Martina Hollearn, cognitive neuroscience
Lewis Kunik, biogeochemistry
Shaylee Larsen, chemical engineering
Samantha Linn, mathematical biology
Nicole Losurdo, neurosciences
Madeline Meyer, chemistry of life processes
Nicolette Molina, physiological psychology
Megan Mullineaux, child development
Shai-anne Nalder, biochemistry
Kaitlin O’Dell, applied mathematics
Nathan Ortiz, mechanical engineering
Andrew Simonson, chemical engineering
Caleb Thomson, biomedical engineering
Donovan Birky, mechanical engineering
Hannah Burton, chemical theory, models and computational methods
Kayla Eschenbacher, neurosciences
Shelby Galinat, sustainable chemistry
Rachel Hurrell, biochemistry
Maci Jacobson, neurosciences
Rachel Klink, biomedical engineering
Roxanne Lamson, Archaeology
Tre Presley, mechanical engineering
Moe Samha, chemical catalysis
David Williamson, analytical chemistry