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2021 HHMI Gilliam Fellowship for Advanced Study Awarded to WCGS Adviser and Student

Congratulations Dr. Gan and Chloe Lopez-Lee | By Megan Allen, PhD
Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Congratulations to Chloe Lopez-Lee (Neuro, 4th year) and Dr. Li Gan on receipt of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Gilliam Fellowship for Advanced Study. This innovative award funds both the dissertation adviser and graduate student. The selection criteria are based on essential components of a productive research environment, particularly the adviser’s commitment to creating a healthy academic ecosystem that places importance on diversity and inclusivity, as well as the student’s potential for scientific leadership. Further, this multi-year award brings in over $150,000.00 in research dollars! Well done, Chloe and Dr. Gan!

As a fellow, Chloe plans to study molecular mechanisms facilitating sex differences in neuroinflammatory responses that contribute to increased female susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Currently, two-thirds of AD patients are women and global AD pathology is increased in female versus male patients, suggesting that sex-based biological mechanisms contribute to AD. Sex-specific neuroinflammation is relevant to neurodegenerative and neurological diseases such as AD, Multiple Sclerosis, and ischemia. Thus, Chloe’s project has the potential to identify novel sex-specific regulators that mediate neuroinflammatory responses in several neurological diseases. Lastly, knowledge gained from these mechanisms will inform future treatments, and potentially facilitate sex-specific therapies for diseases that disproportionately affect one sex.

Dr. Gan is the Burton P. and Judith B. Resnick Distinguished Professor in Neurodegenerative Diseases and the Director of the Helen and Robert Appel Alzheimer’s Disease Research Institute (AADRI) at WCM. As the Director, Dr. Gan lends her scientific expertise and leadership abilities to bring together 10 WCM labs to collectively reach the goals set forth by the AADRI. Additionally, Dr. Gan embodies the definition of a mentor with an exemplary track-record of training young scientists, including individuals from underrepresented groups. During her faculty career, she has mentored over 20 postdoctoral fellows and 8 predoctoral students. Fellows have successfully obtained a KO8 and K99 career awards, F30, F31, and F32 NIH fellowships, and international fellowships from Switzerland and Germany. Additionally, the work of Dr. Gan’s the trainees are frequently recognized, including five recipients of the Young Scientist Award in Alzheimer’s Disease. Such success is a direct reflection of Dr. Gan’s commitment to professional and career development at all levels. Together, Dr. Gan and Chloe continue to champion diversity efforts on our campus. Several of their ideas, that began in the lab, have transformed into department- and campus-wide initiatives.

Join us in congratulating Dr. Gan and Chloe on receipt of the 2021 HHMI Gilliam Fellowship! Also, check out the Gan Laboratory | Helen & Robert Appel Alzheimer’s Disease Research Institute (cornell.edu) to learn more about the group's research. 

WCGS 2021 HHMI Gilliam Awardees

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