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Awards and Recognition

Headshot of Monica Goodland

Congratulations to Monica Goodland, G4 School of Medicine Award, for being awarded the F30 National Institutes of Health Fellowship. This award represents an investment by the NIH for the recipient to become an independent investigator. Monica is honored and looks forward to contributing to the traumatic brain injury study field, so she may better understand mechanisms leading to cognitive impairment and increased risk of dementia later in life. 

Headshot of Samantha Cooke
We would like to extend our congratulations to Samantha Cooke for achieving first place in the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Student Research Forum. Sam is a second-year M.D./Ph.D. student working with Dr. Rajeev Aurora in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology. Her research is centered around estrogen-loss-mediated T cell activation in the central nervous system of mice and how this inflammation can lead to neurocognitive impairment. We commend her dedication and hard work toward advancing medical research and wish her continued success in her future endeavors.

Headshot of Di Wu
Congratulations to Andy Wu. He received third place in the 58th Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Student Research Forum. Andy is a sixth-year M.D./Ph.D. student in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, in the lab of Dr. Rajeev Aurora. His current Ph.D. research focuses on osteoimmunology and how T cell-mediated inflammation leads to deteriorating bone quality and mass postmenopause. He has also examined how estrogen loss postpartum activates TNFα and IL-17A expression in memory T cells that is needed for bone resorption to release calcium during lactation.

Headshot of Daniel Pike

Congratulations to Daniel Pike, M.D., Ph.D., in Dr. Ford's lab on receiving the Wendell H. Griffith Award in Biochemistry. 

The award is presented each year to a graduating medical student who has shown excellence in biochemistry and a continuing interest in applying biochemistry to medicine. 

Valerio and Hoft on balcony

Valerio Rasi is the first-prize winner of the Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, doctorate level. Valerio is an M.D./Ph.D. student, completing his Ph.D. in molecular microbiology and immunology in the laboratory of Daniel Hoft, Ph.D., and he is scheduled to defend his thesis April 29.

The 3MT competition started at the University of Queensland, Australia, and allows graduate students to compete with a video that summarizes their graduate work in three minutes on one slide. Valerio distinguished himself at this challenging endeavor, and it will serve him well for his return to medical school to complete his M.D. degree.

Emily Cybulla with group on stairs

Emily Cybulla is a fifth-year M.D./Ph.D. candidate in Alessandro Vindigni's lab, which recently relocated from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at SLU to the Division of Molecular Oncology at Washington University in St. Louis. Emily submitted her Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) application in December 2019. This F30 application, titled "Targeting Rad18-dependent replication stress pathways to modulate chemoresponse in BRCA1-deficient cancers," was officially funded through the NIH's National Cancer Institute in July 2020. Emily's F30 proposal combines research aimed at defining molecular mechanisms underlying chemoresponse in breast and ovarian cancers, collaboration and mentorship opportunities with physician-scientists and cancer clinicians, and continued integration of her scientific interests in the DNA replication and repair fields with her clinical interests in medical oncology. The F30 fellowship will support Emily's remaining time in her graduate program and her remaining clinical years in medical school.