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Current Fellowship Awardees
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2019 Fellowship Awardees

Our fellowship winners are the soul of our organization and have impact across many different scientific fields. If you would like to apply for a fellowship yourself, find out more information here.


Nell Mondy Fellowship / Hartley Corporation Fellowship

Aliza De Nobrega

PhD Student

Florida State University


Aliza is a PhD student in the Program of Neuroscience at Florida State University. Her research addresses the reciprocal interactions between aging and circadian biology and their effect on drug neurobiology. She will use her GWIS fellowship to investigate how environmental and genetic reinforcement of the circadian clock in middle and old age can ameliorate the toxic effects of alcohol using the well-conserved and genetically tractable model – Drosophila(fruit fly).  



Nell Mondy Fellowship / Jean Langenheim Fellowship

Ashwini Ramesh

PhD Student

Indiana University


Ashwini is a PhD Student in the Department of Biology at Indiana University, Bloomington. She investigates mechanisms of parasite coexistence that maintain parasite biodiversity and its implications for disease spread. Based on classic and more recent ecological theory, she examines the role of environmental variation in maintaining parasite diversity using entomopathogenic nematodes. These nematodes with a mobile, free-living transmission stage are subjected to an array of environmental conditions prior to infecting the host. She tests the role of spatio-temporal environmental variation using storage effect theory and classic host niche partitioning in maintaining parasite diversity using a combination of mathematical modelling, mesocosm experiments, and field surveys. This work will help inform conservation efforts seeking to restore healthy ecosystems. Ashwini will use the GWIS fellowship to advance her project and collect data on distributions of nematodes in temperate forests of Indiana. 



Nell Mondy Fellowship / Elizabeth Weisburger Fellowship

Christina Saak

Postdoctoral Fellow

University of California, San Diego


Christina is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of California, San Diego. She is using the cheese rind microbiome as a model system to test how selective access to nutrients, such as iron, affects growth of individual community members as well as the microbial community as a whole. Siderophores, high-affinity metal chelators, require specialized uptake machinery and her current studies focus on a cheese microbiome-associated mobile genetic element encoding a novel, predicted siderophore uptake complex. She will use the GWIS fellowship funds to investigate whether this mobile element is transferred between members of the community and if so, which factors affect its spatial and temporal transfer dynamics. This research may provide valuable insights into how siderophore-based approaches can be used to manage microbial communities and combat pathogens.  



Adele Lewis Grant Fellowship / Nell Mondy Fellowship / Eloise Gerry Fellowship

Jessica Haugen

PhD Student

Colorado State University


Jessica is a PhD student in the department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology at Colorado State University. Her work investigates how immune cell metabolism can be targeted as a host-directed therapy to enhance the immune response against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection. With the GWIS fellowship, Jessica will be evaluating whether the anti-diabetic drug metformin can be used to potentiate the efficacy of the current Mtb vaccine, Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG). With this work, Jessica hopes to not only determine whether metabolism can be targeted as a potential therapeutic against Mtb, but also gain insights into what constitutes immune protection against tuberculosis disease, a current barrier hindering the progress of vaccine development.



Nell Mondy Fellowship / Hartley Corporation Fellowship

Kailin Read

PhD Student

Ohio State University


Kaitlin is a Ph.D. student in the Ohio State University Microbial Infection and Immunity Department. Her work focuses on elucidating mechanisms underlying the formation and function of T helper cell populations, which are critical mediators of adaptive immunity. Specifically, Kaitlin’s project focuses on defining the role of a novel regulatory protein in the differentiation and function of T follicular helper (Tfh) cells, which interact with B cells to promote both natural and vaccine-induced antibody-mediated immune responses. Kaitlin will be using the GWIS fellowship to provide insight into the mechanics of Tfh cell differentiation, which may be leveraged to both improve vaccine efficacy and potentially inform novel therapies to treat human disease.



Nell Mondy Fellowship

Marianne Kramer

PhD Student

University of Pennsylvania


Marianne is a PhD student in the Cell and Molecular Biology graduate group at University of Pennsylvania. She is studying a relatively new class of molecules called long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) which are RNAs that are not translated to make a protein. In particular, she is studying one lncRNA in the plant species Arabidopsis that functions during plant development, as plants lacking this lncRNA are smaller and develop later than those expressing this lncRNA. She will be using the funds provided by the GWIS national fellowship to further explore the exact function of this lncRNA and how it contributes to plant development, ultimately providing a target for engineering larger crops leading to increased yields.



Nell Mondy Fellowship / Vessa Notchev Fellowship / Monique Braude Fellowship

 Marisa McDonald

PhD Student

University of Hawai'i, Mānoa


Marisa is a PhD candidate in the Marine Biology Graduate Program at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. Her dissertation work focuses on the physiology and anatomy of larval mantis shrimp vision. Mantis shrimp have some of the most complex eyes in the animal kingdom, but larvae have completely different eyes, which are replaced upon metamorphosis and are still poorly understood. She will be using the GWIS fellowship to set up electrophysiology equipment at her home university in order to complete her dissertation research. The aims of this project are to determine the physiological capabilities of the visual system, with a focus on the potential for ultraviolet vision.


View past fellowships abstracts here.

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