National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

The National Science Foundation recently awarded me a Graduate Research Fellowship, which, in addition to being an academic honor, will support my research for three years. As described in their solicitation:

“The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.”

Under the tenure of this award, I will continue my current work developing an estimation algorithm to classify and enumerate cells captured with our GEDI device and imaged with fluorescent microscopy. I aim for this algorithm to be robust to fluctuations in labeling protocol and statistically rigorous so the algorithm can reject almost overwhelmingly large numbers of contaminating cells.

Cornell CMM Young Investigators Award

The Cornell Center on Microenvironment and Metastasis (CMM), in conjunction with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), recently sponsored a Young Investigators Award program. The program has several goals, as stated in the call:

 “This program is designed to encourage Center postdocs and students to submit collaborative proposals for new research projects that advance the Center’s overall programmatic goal of advancing the science of energy conversion and storage by understanding and exploiting fundamental properties of active materials and their interfaces. The program also seeks to provide young investigators with an opportunity to develop collaborations and grant writing skills.”

The CMM provided a maximum of $25,000 (direct costs) of support to the winning proposal. I submitted a proposal in collaboration with Casey Kraning of the Reinhart-King lab to study functional properties of CTCs. This was a valuable experience in experiment planning and grant-writing, and I appreciated having this opportunity while still a graduate student. Our proposal was one of the two selected for funding, and we are very excited to pursue the research enabled by this award.