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Vincent du Vigneaud Symposium Awards

The Vincent du Vigneaud Memorial Research Symposium is a one-day, student run event held annually, showcasing the cutting edge research conducted by our graduate students in our labs. The day features a keynote speech, delivered by a preeminent scientist selected by the students; oral and poster presentations by the participating students; and a reception and awards ceremony, honoring the days winners for best oral presentation and poster presentation.

List of Awardees


Poster Presentation Award

Alyna Katti, "A Highly Specific Fluorescent, Activable Reporter for Base Editing in Cells, Organoids and Mice." (Asst. Professor Lukas Dow)

Bobbie Pelham-Webb, "The role of Mitotic Bookmarking in the Molecular Resetting of the Pluripotent Stem Cell Identity."
(Asst. Professor Effie Apostolou)

Vidur Garg, "Switching Fates to Understand Lineage Decisions and the Rise of Pluripotency." (Professor Anna-Katerina Hadjantonakis)

Oral Presentation Awards

Emma Schatoff, "The Mode of APC Disruption Dictates Response to Tankyrase Inhibition in vivo." (Asst. Professor Lukas Dow)

Shira Yomtoubian, "Inhibition of EZH2 Catalytic Activity Selectively Targets a Metastatic Subpopulation in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer."
(Professor Vivek Mittal)

First-year Awards

Daniel Worroll, "In vitor Characterization of Key Residues Involved in Small-Molecule Binding to MUSASHI RNA-Binding Protein in Acute Myeloid Leukemia." (Professor Michael Kahras)

Svena Verma, "Tracking of Cellular Therapeutics in vivo By Use of Membrane Bound Radiometal Chelate Binding Moieties."
(Professor David Scheinberg)


Poster Presentation Awards

Navid Paknejad, “Regulation of Inositol Triphosphate Receptor by Ca2+ and IP3.” (Prorfessor Richard Hite)

Nevin Yusufova, “Elucidating the Role of Linker Histone Mutations in Chromatin Accessibility and Transcriptional Programming in B-cell Lymphoma.”
(Professor Ari Melnick)

Oral Presentation Awards

Maria Bustillo, “Tension-Sensitive Regulators of Cell Dynamics and Tissue Remodeling.” (Professor Jennifer Zallen)
Ron Gejman,
“The Fault in Our TCRs: Searching for Off-Targets in T cell Receptor Based Therapies.” (Prorfessor David Scheinberg)

First-year Awards

Tom Rossetti, “Acute Inhibition of Aromatase Induces an Anhedonic Behavior in Male and Female Mice.” (Asst. Professor Kristen Pleil)
Zaki Molvi, “Monitoring Inflammatory Demyelination via Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping of Basic Protein Degradation.” (Professor Yi Wang)


Poster Presentation Awards

Pradeep Ramalingam, “Endothelial-Specific mTOR Signaling Drives Hematopoietic Stem Cell Aging.” (Professor Jason Butler)

Corrin Pimental, "Identification of the Cognate Receptor for the Negative Co-Stimulatory Protein B7-H4.” (Professor Charles Rudin)

Oral Presentation Awards

Joana Nunes, “UGP2 Contributes to ERK2-Driven EMT in Breast Epithelial Cells.” (Professor John Blenis)

Mridula Balakrishnan, “Nemaline Myopathy: Identification of Causes and Treatments Using Drosophila.” (Professor Mary Baylies)

Yun-Han Huang, “A Molecular Switch for Resistance to TGF-β Tumor Suppression.” (Professor Joan Massagué)

Yan Zhang, “BACE2 as a Differentiation Gatekeeper for Melanocyte Development via Modulation of PI3K/MTOR
Pathway.” (Professor Richard White)

First-year Awards

Priya Bhardwaj, “Cdc42 Activation Mediates Actin Polymerization in Macrophages During Aggregated LDL Catabolism.” (Professor Frederick Maxfield)

Heather Jones, “A Pooled High Throughput Screen for T Cell Receptor-Epitope Identification by use of Effector-Target Cell Conjugation.”
(Professor David A. Scheinberg)


Poster Presentation Awards

Ron S. Gejman, “A High-Throughput, Cell-Based Method for Screening T Cell Receptor Mimic Antibodies Against Major Histocompatibility Complex Ligands.” (Professor David Scheinberg)

Thomas Galassi, “Investigating and Monitoring Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease with a Carbon Nanotube Optical Reporter.” (Professor Daniel Heller)

Oral Presentation Awards

Emily Mercer, “Evidence that HSPB7 Chaperone Coordinates Cardiac Cytoskeletal Turnover.” (Professor Todd Evans)

Bharat Vaidyanathan,“The Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Controls Cell-Fate Decisions in B Cells.” (Professor Jayanta Chaudhuri)

First-year Awards

R. Lea Sanford, “Membranes Matter: Predicting Drug Toxicity.” (Professor Olaf Andersen)

Thomas Li, “P75 Positive Tumor Fibroblasts Promote Tumor Metastasis in a Mouse Model of Breast Cancer.” (Professor Barbara Hempstead)


Poster Presentation Awards

Abigail Horstmann, “ALDH1A2 (RALDH2) in Oral Cavity Squamous Cell Carcinoma.” (Professor Lorraine Gudas)

José Gabriel Barcia Durán, “S1P1 is Required for the Reprogramming of Endothelial Cells to a Hemogenic State.” (Professors Timothy Hla and Shahin Rafii)

Oral presentation Awards

Christina Bonvicino, “Isoflurane Depresses Dopamine Synaptic Vesicle Exocytosis.” (Professor Hugh C. Hemmings, Jr.)

Jennifer Knauss, “Characterization of Long Noncoding RNA Sox2ot During Cortical Development.” (Professors Mary Donohoe and Tao Sun)

Pui-Mun Wong, “Regulation of Autophagy by Coordinated Action of mTORC1 and Protein Phosphatase 2A.” (Professor Xuejun Jiang)

First-year Awards

Michael Crowley, “Exploring Cross-talk in the Arteriole Hematopoietic Stem Cell Niche through RNA-sequencing.” (Professors Olivier Elemento and Jason Butler)

Lauren Forbes, “Nanoparticle Properties and their Effect on Stability and Distribution.” (Professor Daniel Heller)


Poster Presentation Awards

Wei Shao, “Functional Dissection of Centriolar and Its Derived Structures in the Developing Neocortex.” (Professor Song-Hai Shi)

Oral presentation Awards

Christina Maksymiuk, “Characterization of 2-hydroxy-3-oxoadipate synthase (HOAS) in Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Metabolism.” (Professor Carl F. Nathan)

First-year Awards

Maria Bustillo, “Spatial Organization of Gene Expression is Maintained During Cell Intercalation in the Expanding Drosophila Melanogaster Embryo.” (Professor Jennifer A. Zallen)

Second-year Awards

Charles Ferranti, “Ionizing Radiation-Induced "Nanopores" Signal Acid Sphingomyelinase Activation and Cell Surface Translocation.” (Professor Richard Kolesnick)

Bonnie Quach, “Mechanism of Preventing Doxorubicin-Induced Mitochondrial Toxicity with Cardiolipin- Targeted Peptide, SS-31.” (Professor Hazel Szeto)


Poster Presentation Awards

Nitya Ramkumar, “Protein O-Glucosyltransferase1 Regulates Mammalian Gastrulation Through Modification of Crumbs2.” (Professor Kathryn V. Anderson)

Oral presentation Awards

Victoria K. Schulman, “Novel Roles for Sunday Driver (Syd) in Muscle Tissue as a Regulator of Nuclear Positioning and Muscle Function.” (Professor Mary K. Baylies)

First-year Awards

Wan-Ying Hsieh, “Direct Target Analysis of the MUSASHI2 RNA Binding Protein Uncovers Developmental Pathways that Control HSC Self-Renewal.” (Professor Michael G. Kharas)

Second-year Awards

Emily J. Mercer, “Elucidating the Role of HSPB7 in the Heart.” (Professor Todd R. Evans)


Poster Presentation Awards

Jamie L. McBean, "Elucidation of the Substrate Profile of Protein Methyltransferase SET7/9." (Dr. Minkui Luo)

Tina El Rayes, "Metastasis-Incompetent Tumors Systemically Generate Metastasis-Suppressive Niche." (Dr. Vivek Mittal)

Oral Presentation Awards

Vidhya Rangaraju, "Syn-ATP a Novel Optical Reporter of Presynaptic ATP Levels." (Dr. Timothy A. Ryan)

Kate M. Rochlin, "Identification of a Novel Splicing Factor is Required for Proper Myotendenous Junction Formation and Maintenance in Drosophila." (Dr. Mary Baylies)

First-year Awards

William Mills, "Characterization of Szeto-Schiller Tetrapeptide/Phospholipid Binding." (Dr. Hazel Szeto)

Suranjit Mukherjee, "Development of New Heteroclitic Peptides for B702 and A3/A11 HLA Types for WT1." (Dr. David Scheinberg)

Second-year Awards

Benjamin Burnett, "Kinetic Properties of Elongation Factor-Tu, GTP, and Aminoacyl-tRNA Ternary Complex from Escherichia coli." (Dr. Scott C. Blanchard)


Poster Presentation Awards

Hao-Wei Wang, "Activation of Macrophages by IL-4 and Other Cytokines: Priming for Protumoral Functions." (Professor Johanna Joyce)

Oral Presentation Awards

Mark Lundguist, "Regulation of Nuclear Actin Pools by MICAL2." (Professor Samie R. Jaffrey)

First-year Awards

Amy Jia Wang, "Determining the Role of HSP90 Subcellular Localization in HSP90 Inhibitor Resistance in Glioblastoma." (Professor Gabriela Chiosis)

Second-year Awards

Rachel Niec, "Development and Function of Peripherally Induced Regulatory T Cells." (Professor Alexander Rudensky)


Poster Presentation Awards

Alex R. Hansler, "Untargeted Metabolite Profiling to Elucidate the Basis for Folate-Responsive Neural Tube Closure Defects." (Professor Steven Gross)

Manuel Viotti, "The Role ofSOX17 in Mouse Endoderm Morphogenesis." (Professor Anna-Katerina Hadjantonakis)

Andrew Lerner Wolfe, "Genome-Wide RNAI Screen Identifies MIR-19 Targets in Notch-Induced Acute T-Cell Leukemia (T-All)." (Professor Hans-Guido Wendel)

Oral Presentation Awards

Ronald S. Bultje, "The Notch Ligand Jagged-1 Regulates Interneuron Fate Determination." (Professor Stewart Anderson)

Cristina Ghenoiu, "Histone H3 Phosphorylated on Threonine 3 Controls M Phase by Binding the CPC to Activate the Kinase Aurora B." (Professor Hironori Funabiki)

Drew Thacker, "Meiotic Crossover Control in Budding Yeast: A Color-Based Analysis." (Professor Scott Keeney)

First-year Awards

Rebecca L. Goldstein, "Malignant Phenotype Characterization in B Cell Lymphomas by Proteomic Analysis of Heat Shock Protein (HSP) Complexes." (Professor Ari Melnick)

Second- year Awards

Soha Ashrafi,  "A Role for WNT7A in Pre-Synaptic Differentiation of a Mouse Spinal Inhibitory Synapse." (Professor Julia Kaltschmidt)


Poster Presentation Awards

Nikki Charles, "Nitric Oxide in the Glioma Stem Cell Niche." (Professor Eric Holland)

Jennifer Chien, "Identification of Notch Receptor Binding Peptides Using Whole Cell Planning Phage Display." (Professor Yueming Li)

Chao Shi, "CCR2-Mediated Signals Are Dispensable for Inflammatory Monocyte Trafficking Into Liver During Listeria Monocytogenes Infection." (Professor Eric Pamer)

Oral Presentation Awards

Rebecca Ahrens-Nicklas, "A Dynamic Clamp Method to Unmask Arrhythmias in Murine Cardiac Myocytes." (Professor David Christini)

Kang Chen, "Immunoglobulin D Enhances Immune Surveillance by Activating Antimicrobial, Pro-Intla matory and B Cell-Stimulating Programs in Basophils." (Professor Andrea Cerutti)

Vasilena Gocheva, "Tumor-Associated Macrophages Upregulate Cathepsin Proteases BandS to Promote Cancer Growth and Invasion." (Professor Johanna Joyce)

First-Year Awards

Christina Maksymiuk, "The Protective Effects of SS-31 in Renal lschemia-Reperfusion." (Professor Hazel Szeto)


Zhucheng Chen. "Mechanism of Homologous Recombination from Crystal Structure ofRECA-SSDNA/ DSDNA Filaments." (Professor Nikola P. Pavletich)

Macybeth Carrie Garceau, "Identification of PDE5 as a Target of S-Nitrosylation." (Professor StevenS. Gross)

Jaclyn C. Greimann, ''Activities and Structure of the Eukaryotic Exosome." (Professor Christopher D. Lima)

Lisa Placanica, "Evidence of an Atypical Gamma Secretase in Cells of Hematopoietic Origin." (Professor Yueming Li)

Tyler Simpson, "Therapeutic TREG Depletion Generates Robust Systemic Responses and Transferable Anti-Tumor Immunity in an Autologous T Cell Adoptive Cell Therapy Model." (Professor James P. Allison)

Ameer N. Thompson, "Molecular Mechanism of PH Sensing in KCSA Potassium Channels." (Professor Crina M. Nimigean)

Kai Xu, "The Study of Interaction Between Henipavirus and their Host Cell Receptors." (Professor Dimitar B. Nikolov)

Xiaoxiao Xue, "Kinesin Switch During Epithelial Cell Polarization." (Professor Geri Kreitzer)

Awards of Excellence

Rebecca Clare Ahrens, "Investigation of Arrhythmias in Anthropomorphized Murine Cardiac Myocytes." (Professor David J. Christini)

Clare Veronica LeFave, "Oncogenicity of Aberrant Alternative Splicing Events in Gliomas." (Professor Luca Cartegni)

Judith Mesicek, "Elucidating the Role ofCeramide Synthase in Radiation-Induced Apoptosis." (Professor Richard Kolesnick)

Elissaveta P. Petrova, "Hedgehog Acyltransferase -A Novel Therapeutic Target in Pancreatic Cancer." (Professor Marilyn D. Resh)

Kymora Bernisha Scotland, "Analysis ofREX-1 (ZFP42) Function in Retinoic -Acid Induced Differentiation ." (Professor Lorraine J. Gudas)

Yuan Tian (Female), "Substrate Feedback Regulation of _-Secretase Activity ."(Professor Yueming Li)

First-Year Awards

Christina J. Crump, "Using Salicylhydroxamic Acid and Phenylboronic Acid in Bioorthogonal Chemistry." (Professor Samie R. Jaffrey)

Armen R. Kherlopian, "Long-Range Connectivity, Event-Driven Networks, and Complex Stimuli:Next Steps in Visual Cortex Modeling."(Professor Jonathan D. Victor)

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