Student news (InTouch Fall 2007)

Kathleen Somera-MolinaKathleen Somera-Molina, in the laboratory of Mark Wainwright, MD, PhD, Division of Neurology, Children’s Memorial Hospital, was invited to present at the Sixth Annual St. Jude National Graduate Student Symposium, Memphis, TN, in March 2007. The symposium’s purpose is to introduce prospective postdoctoral candidates to St. Jude Children’s Hospital research and faculty. Somera-Molina presented her research in a talk entitled “Glial activation as a potential treatment target in pediatric epilepsy.”

Somera-Molina has also been awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Training Grant through Northwestern University’s Center for Drug Discovery and Chemical Biology, entitled “Drug discovery training for age-related disorders.” The award supports her work on the role of glial activation and neuroinflammation in pediatric brain injury. Wainwright and Somera-Molina are part of the Neurobiology Program at Children's Memorial Research Center.


Jennifer Krcmery

Jennifer Krcmery, in the Integrated Graduate Program in the Life Sciences (IGP) of Northwestern, in the laboratory of Hans-Georg Simon, PhD, Developmental Biology Program, has received a Ruth L. Kirschstein award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the NIH. This very prestigious award is a pre-doctoral fellowship for approximately $143,000 for 5 years. The title of her grant is “Heart development following genetic inactivation of Lmp4.” The proposed studies determine the biological function of the Lmp4 protein in heart development, alone and in association with the transcription factor Tbx5. The overall goal is to elucidate the functional role of the interaction of Lmp4 and Tbx5 in heart development, which may provide new insights into heart/limb phenotypes observed in Holt-Oram syndrome. Krcmery will specifically test the hypothesis that Lmp4 functions as a regulator of Tbx5 subcellular localization in heart and coronary vasculature development. Krcmery is grateful to Dr. Simon, the members of the Simon lab, and her co-sponsor on the grant, Susan Crawford, MD, for their support.

Neil Blackledge, Chris Heier, Chris OttTop prizes went to three graduate students in the Human Molecular Genetics Program for the 2007 Chicago Graduate Student Association (CGSA) Poster Session held on September 20.

1st place: Chris Ott (Ann Harris, PhD, lab), right
2nd place: Chris Heier (Christine DiDonato, PhD, lab), center
3rd place: Neil Blackledge (Ann Harris, PhD, lab), left

The CGSA is a Northwestern student organization that encompasses graduate students in the following programs on the Chicago Campus: the IGP, Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), Northwestern University Institute for Neuroscience (NUIN), Genetic Counseling, Clinical Pyschology and Physical Therapy. The CGSA provides a forum to address the academic, social and political needs of graduate students on the Chicago campus, as well as to promote interactions with groups on the Evanston campus.

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