Congratulations to our MCSB graduate student award winners and honorable mentions.....
Jaleal S. Sanjak for his project proposal "The Effects of Molecular Genetics Architecture and Deomgraphy on GWAS." Jaleal will be studying the "missing heritability" issue i.e. rare poylmorphisms with large effects that drive heritability of disease risk in humans, and which represents a significant problem for current genone wide association study (GWAS) approaches. He will develop and simulate predictive models that invoke population genetics theory and complex gene-gene interaction models to improve the predtictive power and GWAS study designs. He will be mentored by Professor Kevin Thornton, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.
Andrew J. Schaub for his project entitled "Engineering the Reductase Domain from the Non-Ribosomal Peptide Synthase Module in Myxalamid Biosynthesis System for Advanced Second-Generation Biofuel Production." Andrew will be studying methods to engineer improved metabolic pathways leading to polyketide synthesis that can be used for biofuel production. He will apply molecular dynamics (MD) simulations for the protein-protein interactions between the MxaA and PCP subunits bound to various alkyl-CoAs and polyketide mimics to guide the rational design and engineering of mutants able to accept different MxA upstream modules. His project mentors will be Professor Sheryl Tsai (Departments of Chemistry, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences) and Professor Ray Luo (Departments of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Biomedical Engineering and Information and Computer Science).
Mathew Boyvn for his project entitled "Modeling Self-organization and Control in Motor Cargo Systems." Mathew hopes to investigate the properties that drive motor protein interactions with intracellular cargoes, and whether attachment/detachment occurs through stochastic events or is coordinated through various suspected mechanisms. He will use a combination of computational modeling and experimentation to address these questions. His mentor will be Professor Jun Allard (Department of Mathematics).
Anna LoPresti for her project entitled "An Evolutionary Model of Social Discounting and Implications for Climate Policy." Anna hopes to apply evolutionary theory to build a model of intergenerational social discounting in human populations related to implementation of policies addressing global climate change. In order to effectively tackle climate problems, current societies will have to forgo some benefits in order to provide future generations benefits, a process referred to as social discounting. This altruistic behavior is influenced by a combination of kin and group selection, and is subject to natural selection as well as the geogrpahic and temporal distributions of benefits and relatives in the future. Anna will be mentored by Professor Steven J. Davis (Department of Earth Systems Sciences).