Doctoral candidates receive 2013 Sarachek fellowship, travel awards
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
MANHATTAN -- Three Kansas State University doctoral candidates are being rewarded with Saracheck awards for their exceptional research accomplishments.
Ismael Badillo-Vargas, doctoral candidate in plant pathology, Puerto Rico, is receiving the $15,000 Alvin and RosaLee Sarachek Predoctoral Honors Fellowship in Molecular Biology. Alina De La Mota-Peynado, doctoral candidate in biology, Dominican Republic, and Emily Archer Slone, doctoral candidate in microbiology, Arlington, Minn., are receiving $1,000 Sarachek scientific travel awards.
Alvin and RosaLee Sarachek established the fellowship and travel awards to recognize exceptional achievements in scholastics and research by resident graduate students enrolled in a doctoral program at Kansas State University. An interdisciplinary faculty selection committee determines the fellowship and award recipients. The awards program is offered through the university's Graduate School.
Badillo-Vargas' research focuses on understanding the molecular interaction between the tomato spotted wilt virus and its most efficient insect vector, Frankliniella occidentalis, to provide growers with new control strategies to manage this pathosystem. His program adviser is Anna Whitfield, associate professor of plant pathology. Badillo-Vargas received his bachelor's degree in crop protection from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez and his master's degree in plant pathology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He plans to complete his doctorate in August.
Badillo-Vargas will use the fellowship to support future postdoctoral research and professional development. He plans to attend a proteomics workshop at Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory in New York and the X International Symposium on Thysanoptera and Tospovirus in Brazil. The fellowship also will help Badillo-Vargas relocate to Europe to begin postdoctoral research.
De La Mota-Peynado's research looks at determining how proteasomes are assembled and the roles "helper proteins" play in this process. The goal is to identify proteins that affect proteasome assembly and that could be used as targets for drug development in the treatment of neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer's. Her program adviser is Jeroen Roelofs, assistant professor of biology.
She received a bachelor's degree in industrial microbiology and a master's degree in biology from the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaquez. She is a National Science Foundation graduate STEM fellow in K-12 education.
Archer Slone's research focuses on overreactions of the immune system. The goal of her work is to understand the molecular mechanism and cellular responses contributing to the excessive immune response following periods of oxygen deprivation. Her program adviser is Sherry Fleming, associate professor of biology.
Archer Slone began the veterinary medicine program at K-State following undergraduate course work at the University of Minnesota-Morris. After completing the first two years of the veterinary medicine program, she completed her bachelor's at Kansas State University and joined the doctoral program in K-State's Division of Biology. She plans to complete her Doctor of Philosophy degree in August and continue in the doctor of veterinary medicine program.
Alvin Sarachek received his doctorate in genetics from K-State in 1957. He and his wife created the fellowship and travel awards because he said he values the university's tradition of offering a broad array of quality programs in the life sciences, many with outstanding national reputations. The Saracheks wanted to contribute to that tradition of excellence by recognizing students whose research on a variety of biological problems involves molecular approaches. More information on the Sarachek awards is available at http://www.k-state.edu/grad/sarachek/.