Congratulations to Analiese Lahey, an undergraduate student in the Rossman lab. She received a Fulbright scholarship!
Analiese is finishing up her senior year at UNC and will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience with a Chemistry minor. For her Fulbright research, she will be going to Dr. Weiland Hutner’s group at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden (https://www.mpi-cbg.de/en/research-groups/current-groups/wieland-huttner/research-focus/).
Analiese has been working on ARHGAP11B in the Rossman lab, which they have previously published to be upregulated in certain breast cancers subtypes, along with its paralog ARHGAP11A ( https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27216196/). ARHGAP11A has been characterized by them and others to promote cancer, though there is not much known about ARHGAP11B’s cancer activity. On the other hand, Weiland Hutner’s group has published a series of papers that show ARHGAP11B is human-specific and crucial for neocortex expansion and is one of the genes that make humans different from chimps and Neanderthals apparently (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25721503/). Because of Analiese’s interest in neuroscience she’s been working on ARHGAP11B for her senior research project this semester. In anticipation of this, she contacted Dr. Hutner last semester about the possibility of pursuing this project there as a Fulbright scholar and he agreed, so she went ahead with the application. She’s scheduled to start the research phase this September.
Fulbright scholarships are awarded to US citizen applicants who have earned a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent before the beginning of the scholarship period.
Analiese was also accepted to the (highly competitive) graduate Neuroscience program at the Max Planck in Göttingen (MSc/PhD/MD-PhD Neuroscience Program (uni-goettingen.de) though she has deferred for the year. This is an impressive achievement – the interview process was 2 days in front of a panel of German scientists! She’s been mentioning MD/PhD programs as well so Göttingen may not be her final destination.
Congratulations again and we wish her luck on her next adventures.