George G. & Betsy H. Laties Graduate Fellowship
August 19, 2021
Manuel Mora and Shuya Wang were selected by the Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology to receive the George G. & Betsy H. Laties Graduate Fellowship. They were each awarded a fellowship of $30,000 this academic year. The fellowship supports eligible Graduate Programs in Bioscience students in their second or third year of study who specialize in molecular plant biology.
Here’s a brief highlight on what they have accomplished this past year and how the fellowship continues to be beneficial to them looking ahead.
In the past year, Shuya comprehensively validated the protein of interest, binding capability to methylated cytosine in vitro and in vivo. The George G. & Betsy H. Laties Graduate Fellowship generously supported her to conduct various methods of research to confirm the biochemical and biological properties of the protein. Essentially, she found that losing the protein leads to tissue-specific phenotypes. With the fellowship, Shuya has been able to perform multiple RNA sequencing datasets to explore epigenetic phenotypes across tissues.
In the following year, The George G. & Betsy H. Laties Graduate Fellowship will continue to be a strong source of support for her. It will not only guarantee her original plan, including essential experiments for the project, but will also encourage more ideas to be tested, which will hopefully bring about new discoveries.
Manuel collaborated with his laboratory team, faculty and colleagues in order to develop a project based on experimental data that they’ve obtained in the lab, and he continues to fine-tune his aims for his thesis proposal. The support of this fellowship has given him the opportunity to begin his project with a deep dive into the literature with his advisor, resurfacing with a better understanding of the development of the field along with a better understanding of himself and what he want his research thesis to encompass. Thus, the fellowship has allowed him to design a project that is aligned with his scientific wonderings.
The support of this fellowship has given him the freedom to move in a direction that he is passionate about, and continues to allow him to broaden his scientific reach while providing and amplifying the available resources that will allow him to meet his goals.
Manuel also thinks that the awarding of the MCDB George G. & Betsy H. Laities Graduate Fellowship is personally encouraging as it adds a whole team of support behind his academic research, and motivates him to continue his development as a leader. It also highlights the importance of supporting other scientists to be recognized for the ongoing efforts that go into their graduate careers. In the future, he hopes to be able to encourage budding scientists to continue developing themselves and their projects, and reassure their confidence and belonging with the aid of amazing awards like this one.