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Of Note

FL Research Fest 2014 Spotlights Scientific Achievements

Research Fest 2014, the Scripps Florida Society of Research Fellows’ (SF-SRF) fifth Scientific Symposium and Vendor Show, which drew 250 participants, spotlighted the scientific accomplishments of postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, presented a vendor showcase and provided a networking forum for the early-career researchers.

Prizes were awarded to oral presenters, who had been chosen from among 40 people submitting abstracts:

  • First Place: Matthew Gardner, postdoctoral fellow in the Farzan lab, for “A CCR5-mimetic sulfopeptide converts CD4-Ig to an exceptionally broad and potent inhibitor of HIV-1 entry.”
  • Second Place: Jun Yung Choi, postdoctoral fellow in the Roush lab, for “The Discovery of Novel anti-Chagas Agents Targeting T. cruzi CYP51.”
  • Homa Ghalei, postdoctoral fellow in the Karbstein lab, for “Release of Ltv1 by the yeast casein kinase 1 δ and ε homolog Hrr25 is necessary for ribosome assembly and cellular growth and impacts the assembly of the mRNA binding channel.”
  • Prosenjit Mondal, postdoctoral fellow in the Gill lab, for “The role of insulin decoy receptors in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance.”
  • Xin-an Liu, postdoctoral fellow in the Puthanveettil lab, for A molecular motor, Kif5C, controls synaptogenesis by transporting RNA cargos for local translation.”
  • Cullen Schmid, postdoctoral fellow in the Bohn lab, for “Novel ligands at the mu opioid receptor that display bias toward G protein coupling over βarrestin2 recruitment.”
  • Graduate Student Award: Scott Baker, from the Grill lab, for “Identification of a peptide inhibitor of the RPM-1/FSN-1 ubiquitin ligase complex.”

Selected from among 34 poster presentations, award winners were:

  • First Place: Sohail Khoshnevis, postdoctoral fellow in the Karbstein lab, for “ATP Hydrolysis by the DEAD-box protein Rok1 Releases the Assembly Factor Rrp5 from pre-40S Ribosomes.”
  • Second Place: Sonali Deshpande, postdoctoral fellow in the Ja lab, for “Deciding between food and sex.”
  • Third Place: Sherie Wright, postdoctoral fellow in the Wee lab, for “A 5-HT1A receptor-mediated mechanism in the BNST is associated with cocaine-seeking behavior.”
  • Graduate Student Award: Francisco Garcia, Carroll lab, for “Design of Nucleophile-based Therapeutics for Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase 1B.”

“The symposium was greatly supported by the department chairs from Scripps Florida, Deborah and Louis Scampavia and the LaBovick Law Group, with a total of $1,750 given in the form of awards to the oral presenters and best three poster presenters,” said Reji Nair, SF-SRF president.

Research Fest 2014 organizers included Audrey Richard (scientific chair), Amy Clipperton-Allen and Youjun Chen (vendor show co-chairs), Ignacio Sarria and Cesare Orlandi (raffle prize co-chairs) and staff members Michael Matrone, Career and Postdoctoral Services program coordinator, and Chery Marra, graduate program coordinator.

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