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K-State Today

March 30, 2016



Biology graduate student receives prestigious postdoctoral fellowship

By Michael Tobler

Courtney Passow, graduate student in the Division of Biology, received a Grand Challenges in Biology Postdoctoral Program Fellowship from the University of Minnesota. Passow will start her postdoctoral fellowship in fall 2016 upon graduating from the biology doctoral program.

Passow will primarily work with blind Mexican cavefish, Astyanax mexicanus, investigating how organisms adapt to nutrient and light-poor cave environments. In particular, Passow will utilize new technological and theoretical tools to identify changes in gene co-expression networks between cave and surface populations and test whether divergent co-expressed nodes also are under direct selection. Passow will conduct this work in collaboration with Suzanne McGaugh, assistant professor of ecology, evolution and behavior at the University of Minnesota; and Peter Tiffin, professor of plant biology at the University of Minnesota.

The Grand Challenges in Biology Postdoctoral Program fosters collaborations between postdoctoral researchers and faculty interested in multidisciplinary research that address societally relevant problems. Postdoctoral researchers develop a two-year research project under the guidance of faculty advisors in the College of Biological Sciences at the University of Minnesota. The fellowship includes a stipend of $46,000 per year plus benefits, and $5,000 per year for research supplies and research related travel. The fellowship is potentially renewable for a third year.

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