A huge congratulation goes out to graduate student Alex Stutzman and postdoctoral fellow Audra Bryan for giving excellent research talks at the 2022 UNC Genetics Department Retreat. The retreat was held Sept 14-16 in Wilmington, NC and was full of exciting research and scientific discussions. Both Alex and Audra received “Best Talk” awards in recognition of their terrific presentations. Way to go!
Geoffrey Fox was awarded a poster prize at the Van Andel Institute Epigenetics Symposium: 20(+2) Years of the Histone Code. Geoff wrote a very nice perspective on attending his first national meeting as a new graduate student and being awarded a poster prize. Check it out in his own word here.
Two members of the Dowen Lab receive recognition for their outstanding mentoring from the UNC Office of Graduate Education!
Our very own Audra Bryan has received an Outstanding Mentor Award for her terrific efforts as a mentor in our lab, and especially for her work with Geoff during his fall rotation. Her planning, leadership, and time commitment were outstanding. She struck the right balance of hands-on guidance vs allowing for independence, which can be hard to achieve. We appreciate you going the extra mile as a mentor in our lab. Congratulations for earning this amazing award!
Our very own Nicole Arruda has received an Outstanding Mentor Award for her dedication to always helping others learn new techniques and analyses, providing constructive feedback/advice, and making our lab environment so fun and supportive. Congratulations Nicole! We appreciate you.
Audra completes “Faculty Mentor Training for Biomedical Researchers” through the UNC Office of Graduate Education. The curriculum is designed to improve research mentoring skills of established scientists, faculty, and future biomedical science leaders. The content included: effective communication, aligning expectations, promoting professional development, addressing equity and inclusion, fostering independence and assessing understanding. Your dedication to enhancing the scientific training environment is appreciated!
Natalie has been accepted into the competitive GENETICS Peer Review Training Programing through the Genetics Society of America. Through this program she will develop the skills to provide constructive scientific feedback to peers and will review manuscripts as an Early Career Reviewer in the Gene Expression Section for the next two years (2022-2024). Congratulations Natalie!
JP earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology, with a Minor in Public Health, from Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA in 2021. There he studied the potential medical relevance of cone snail venom using molecular biology and biochemistry assays. His work also involved computational biology of sequencing data. JP has been involved in scientific outreach activities and has been an advocate for promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in the sciences. We appreciate his leadership in this area and can’t wait to see what he does in the future. Welcome to the Dowen Lab!
Riya wrote a blog post entitled “The Most Beautiful Experiment in Biology” for the NC DNA Day blog. Great job communicating science history and concepts to students and other non-scientists! It is so important for our community.
Our lab is excited to welcome two new graduate students for the fall rotation period.
Benjamin Kornegay will investigate chromatin structure using advanced molecular biology and genome editing techniques. Benjamin graduated from the University of Richmond and has company experience.
Geoffrey Fox will work on new CRISPR methodologies in the lab. Geoffrey earned his B.S. in Cell & Molecular Biology from Penn State where he worked on structural biology and plant biology.
Welcome to the Dowen Lab and UNC!
Jill Dowen, Assistant Professor in Biochemistry and Biophysics and Biology was recently named the Well-being Liaison for the department. This is an important new position initiated and supported by the UNC School of Medicine. In this role, Dr. Dowen will “work with Departments and School of Medicine leaders to support a learning, training, and working environment in which members of the community thrive”.
The liaison will work closely with the School of Medicine Well-being Committee Chair, the Integrated Well-being Program’s Operational Team, the Faculty Affairs and Diversity Leadership Committee, the Office of Faculty Affairs and Leadership Development, and the Department’s Diversity Liaison Dr. Silvia Ramos and the Diversity Council.
Stay tuned for information on wellness-related programming and resources available to students, staff and faculty and an assessment of our community needs.
Riya applied for the highly competitive National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. She came very close to earning an award, and was granted an honorable mention. She had an outstanding application and research project plan. Congratulations on coming close for this prestigious award.