Graduate Research Fellowship Program

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) provides three years of financial support for graduate study.  It aims to keep the nation a global leader in advancing science and engineering research and innovation.  Recipients receive a $34,000 annual stipend and $12,000 education allowance from NSF, plus the UW-Madison Graduate School contributes toward fringe benefits.

“The NSF-Graduate Research Fellows Program is a highly competitive award that draws from student talent across the nation,” states Graduate School Dean William J. Karpus.  “The program leads to great outcomes.  Awardees not only benefit from the financial support of the fellowship, but also have the long-term benefit of becoming more competitive for future funding and gaining access to opportunities for research collaboration and professional development through NSF programs.”

The fellowship is awarded to individuals in the early stages of their graduate study, who intend to pursue research-based graduate studies in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Fellows are free to use their fellowship at any university, college, or non-profit academic institution of higher education accredited in, and having a campus located in, the United States, its territories, or possessions, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico that grants a graduate degree in STEM fields.

Fellowship Benefits

  • Five year fellowship period with three years of financial support
  • Annual stipend of $34,000
  • Cost of Education allowance of $12,000 to the institution
  • Professional development opportunities (GRIP and GROW)
  • XSEDE supercomputer access for Fellows and honorable mentions
  • No service requirement
  • Access to supplemental funding to sustain research while on medical deferral (e.g. maternity/paternity leave)

Read more about this competitive fellowship at the NSF website.

2019 Awardees

Click each awardee’s name for information about the research project for which they received the award.

Note: Undergraduate research proposals are often a student’s general application for the award, showing their potential for significant research. Undergraduate proposals do not always completely reflect the work the student will complete as a graduate student.

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Theodore Agbi, PhD student, Chemical Engineering

Developing Boron Containing Catalyst for the Sustainable Production of Light Olefins

We have recently identified boron as a selective catalyst for the oxidative dehydrogenation (ODH) of propane to propylene, which has long been viewed as a more attractive and sustainable process compared to currently industrial practices. We have proposed novel ways to optimize the boron catalytic system to further the industrial viability of the ODH pathway.

Increasing natural gas feedstocks have shifted our production efforts towards propylene— a major petrochemical building block. Developing oxidative dehydrogenation catalysts, although challenging, provides a sustainable and less energy intensive route to this vital building block. We have proposed boron as viable and economical means of providing an industrial alternative.

Shaan Amin, PhD student, Political Science

I use formal models and causal inference to study how voters interpret scandals through the lens of identity in Indonesia and the United States.

A stronger understanding of the roles of social identity and scandal in elections is crucial to safeguarding democracy in many countries, including Indonesia and the United States.

Garrett Anstreicher, PhD student, Economics

Spatial Influences in Upward Mobility

This project will develop an economic framework of physical migration and human capital investment. I intend to use this framework to investigate how migration (and opportunities to do so) may help explain the high levels of intergenerational mobility exhibited by the Great Plains and the Mountain States.

Going forward, the work may be extended to investigate how migration incentives could interact with improvements in education or labor markets in affecting the outcomes of children. This project may also be used to forecast how human capital disparities between the rural and urban United States will widen or narrow in the future.

Benjamin Bachman, PhD student, Chemistry

Spin-Based Chemical Sensing using the Diamond Nitrogen Vacancy Center

My research is focused on using a fluorescent defect in lab-grown diamond to selectively detect chemicals of interest on the diamond surface.

Diamond is a versatile platform for detecting changes in temperature, pressure, magnetic fields, and local chemical environment; and could be the basis for the next generation of spin-based sensing.

Desia Bacon, PhD student, Psychology

The Influence of Social Categories on Early Language Acquisition and Processing

The proposed studies provide a novel way to determine when and how infants become aware of social categories, and how infants use this ubiquitous source of information in language learning. These are the first studies, to our knowledge, focused on the role of social categories in early language learning and processing.

Understanding how and when infants begin to harness social category information in language processing will provide a new view into the timing of these developmental processes, with implications for how social category information might be minimized or thwarted in an effort to decrease ingroup/outgroup biases.

Connor Blankenship, PhD student, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Novel Nanobody-Peptide Conjugate platform to study substrate specific cellular O-GlcNAcylation

O-GlcNAcylation is a critical protein post-translational modification that is found on over 4,000 cellular proteins and is involved in many cellular processes and diseases. I am working on a novel molecular probe that will facilitate the first substrate specific study of O-GlcNAcyaltion which will allow us to begin untangling the complex web of impacts O-GlcNAc has on the cell.

This probe will increase access of O-GlcNAcylation research allowing investigators to easily and efficiently study the role of O-GlcNAc in the context of their work. The scaffold can also easily be adapted to study other post-translational modifications making it a highly effective and versatile tool for the greater scientific community.

Miriam Bohlmann Kunz, PhD student, Chemistry

Two-Dimensional Photocurrent Spectroscopy of Lead-Halide Perovskites

I am using two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy to study energy transfer and dynamics in photovoltaic materials that have applications to solar cells.

I believe equal access to a high quality of life is a fundamental aspect of equality. This research project will build the fundamental knowledge of photovoltaics. Cheap photovoltaics provide an avenue to more affordable energy in our own country and increased access to energy in developing nations.

Katie Bultman, PhD student, Microbiology

Elucidating Biofilm Regulatory Mechanisms across the Vibrio fischeri Phylogenetic Tree

Symbiotic relationships between bacteria and their animal hosts are ubiquitous in nature. However, we have a limited understanding of the molecular communication between the bacteria and their hosts that facilitates specific and reproducible colonization. To directly study mechanisms underlying bacterial-host colonization, we focus on a model system in which the Hawaiian bobtail squid (Euprymna scolopes) light organ is colonized by one bacterial species, Vibrio fischeri.

My project will determine the regulators of biofilm formation in diverse isolates, focusing on the strain SR5, and identifying the evolutionary transitions in biofilm regulatory strategies across natural isolates of V. fischeri. The squid-Vibrio model allows for a unique perspective into symbiosis and the idea of beneficial bacteria.

Joseph Burns, PhD student, Biomedical Engineering

Biophysical Investigation of PLCγ1 Activation in Wound Healing

My research aims to elucidate the role of PLCγ1 activation in persistent cell migration during wound healing. Specifically, I have proposed to investigate the interactions between activated PLCγ1 and other signaling molecules involved in persistent migration as well as examine the effects of PLCγ1 activation on cellular traction forces.

By interrogating the role of activated PLCγ1 in persistent cell migration, we could discover novel targets for promoting cell motility and migration in chronic wounds. In addition, the use of traction force microscopy may provide insight into cell signaling and behavior in response to physical and molecular cues, which is crucial in a variety of physiological mechanisms such as wound healing, tumor metastasis and stem cell differentiation.

Mariama Carter, PhD student, Plant Pathology

A Sticky Situation: Investigating the Role of Adhesins in Ralstonia solanacearum Virulence

My research identifies and characterizes adhesins (attachment proteins) that enable Ralstonia solanacearum to cohere to fellow bacteria, adhere to plant surfaces, and colonize the host. Deciphering pathogen virulence mechanisms like host attachment and colonization is key to developing new disease control strategies.

Aryel Clarke, PhD student, Biochemistry

Defining the Role of ESCRT-III Regulator LGD-1 at the Nuclear Envelope

I study how the ESCRT machinery, which remodel cellular membranes, are regulated by LGD-1 to seal holes in the nuclear envelope prior to cell division. ESCRT-mediated nuclear envelope reformation is important for protecting the genome from damaging agents in the cytosol, which can lead to cell death or cancer.

John Crandall, PhD student, Genetics

Deconstruction and Reconstruction of the Eukaryotic Acquisition of a Bacterial Operon

The potential for genetic exchange between prokaryotic and nuclear eukaryotic genomes has long been a contentious topic among biologists; we recently described the eukaryotic acquisition and domestication of a biosynthetic bacterial operon. Here, we leverage genomic, molecular genetic, and experimental evolutionary approaches in traditional and non-traditional model yeasts to discover how fundamental incompatibilities between the domains of life can be overcome.

Many fundamental discoveries with translational implications, including the one motivating this study, have arisen from a collaborative effort to sequence the genomes of all known budding yeast species, the Y1000+ Project, as well as the Wild YEAST Program, which aims to discover new species. YEAST engages citizen scientists and has proven a uniquely effective setting in which to train undergraduate students in genomic analysis and biodiversity research, thus helping to prepare the next generation of diverse scientists.

Michael Davies, PhD student, Computer Sciences

All Programmable Silicon

The aim of my graduate research will be to enable everyone to have the benefits of specialized hardware without creating a custom chip design for every problem domain. This will be achieved by designing novel computing abstractions and implementing hardware and software to support the proliferation of programmable computing.

The result of my work will be a chip implementation of a highly efficient and performant programmable accelerator for a wide range of workloads – and through collaboration with domain scientists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the chip will help boost research in their fields. In addition, I will work to incorporate the chip into a freshman level classroom environment as an Arduino-style board to educate new students about the future of computer hardware.

Rebekah Dix, BA student, Economics

Modeling Market Power in Macroeconomics

A growing empirical literature in economics documents the immense rise of market power and large firms in recent decades, yet the macroeconomic consequences of this rise in market power are largely open questions. There are many theoretical and computational challenges to incorporating oligopoly in macroeconomic settings, and I seek to develop theoretical frameworks to help model market power in macroeconomics.

The broader impact of my research lies in its relevance for studying government policies relating to competition, market structure, and the regulation of large firms. Furthermore, I hope to develop more efficient algorithms for solving high-dimensional macro models incorporating market power, which I will make open-source so that other researchers can easily use this framework.

Kieran Farrell, PhD student, Chemistry

My project was funded for the proposed development of super-resolution 2D IR microscopy and its application to study the stability of selenium substituted DNA photosensitizers in dermal tissue.

These new technical developments could enhance the utility of 2D IR to study tissues and hopefully facilitate the introduction of 2D IR microscopy to other disciplines of science.

Maia Gumnit, PhD student, Comparative Biomedical Sciences

Microglia-Neuron Communication is Necessary for Compensatory Respiratory Neuroplasticity

Microglia, the resident innate immune cells of the central nervous system (CNS), have recently been demonstrated to play key roles in normal brain function, such as maintenance of neuronal connections and regulation of neural plasticity. Little is known regarding microglia-neuron communication in brain mechanisms controlling the shape and timing of a breath.

Since microglia are a major source of TNFα (tumor necrosis factor alpha; a pro-inflammatory molecule) in the CNS, and they play a critical role in sensing and responding to disruptions in CNS homeostasis, I hypothesize that microglia trigger compensatory enhancements in phrenic inspiratory output to the diaphragm in response to reduced respiratory-related phrenic synaptic inputs. This project will identify for the first time a direct and critical role for microglia-respiratory neuron communication in the neural control of breathing, and attribute a specific role for microglia in an important form of compensatory respiratory plasticity.

Mackenzie Hewes, PhD student, Anthropology

Personality and “Pace-of-Life Syndromes” in Vervet Monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus)

The goal of the proposed research is to investigate relationships between personality, thermal physiology, and life-history in vervet monkeys and how they impact individuals’ capacities to cope with social and ecological stress. Understanding patterns of individual-level variation has broader impacts for predicting how individuals, populations, and species will respond to anthropogenic disturbance as well as for human health.

Zena Jensvold, PhD student, Cellular & Molecular Biology

Exploring the Epigenetic Character of Histone Modifications

Eukaryotic genomes are packaged into chromosomes by proteins called histones. Histone modifications involved in regulating gene expression are also implicated in epigenetic memory.  I am developing a ‘designer’ histone deposition system to study the epigenetic nature of histone modifications and the regulation of gene expression through cell division.

The tools that I am developing will allow me to study the inheritance of specific histone modification patterns or ‘histone codes’ involved in activation or repression of genes. Understanding how histone modifications function is important for us to fully understand human developmental biology, and by extension the development of cancer and other genetic diseases.

Conlain Kelly, BS student, Applied Mathematics, Engineering and Physics

Using Simulation to Explore the Effects of Shape and Scale on Nonlinear Behaviors of Granular Materials

This work seeks to further the understanding of how granular media move and deform, with applications in soft-matter physics, geomechanics, and materials design. By understanding the complex interactions of granular materials, we can better predict and prepare for natural disasters such as landslides or earthquakes. Moreover, this would provide insights into new classes of materials with desirable properties such as energy/impact absorption, high durability, and vibrational control.

Lauren Laufman, BS student, Astronomy - Physics

Spiral Structure as a Probe of Interactions and Dark Matter Halos in Dwarf Irregular Galaxies

This project studies spiral structure in the gas disks of dwarf irregular galaxies in order to gain a better understanding of how they evolve through interactions with their environments, gas inflows, and the dark matter halo.

During the course of my career, I want to be deeply involved in frontier astrophysical research, provide a support network for other students, and give back to the ever curious public. Through my proposed research I can advance knowledge of galaxies and their evolution, and outreach programs give me an avenue to present this knowledge to the public and encourage the pursuit of astronomy in undergraduate studies.

Justin Mabin, PhD student, Cellular & Molecular Biology

Spliceosomal U5 Small Nuclear RNA (snRNA) Sequence Variants Regulate Alternative Pre-mRNA Splicing

The aims of my research project are to determine the role U5 snRNA sequence variants play in regulating alternative splicing programs in human cells, and how they may function differently to regulate these programs. Through transcriptome-wide alternative splicing analysis and targeted biochemical assays we will be able to decipher the molecular phenotypes and mechanisms employed by individual U5 snRNA variants in regulating splicing.

Because alternative splicing defines the transcriptome and therefore human cell identity, this research will impact our fundamental understanding of human cell biology. Identifying how core spliceosomal snRNA components further regulate alternative splicing will provide a broader understanding of how small RNAs can influence gene regulation and how their dysregulation may influence development and disease.

Audrey Marsh, PhD student, Genetics

Grainy Head: A Model to Study Transcription-Factor Dynamics during Development

I will be studying the binding dynamics of the fruit fly protein Grainy head in embryos. More specifically, I am interested in how Grainy head alters DNA structure to regulate gene expression, and how this activity is modified through development.

It is my objective to utilize many of the teaching programs available at UW–Madison to educate myself on how to make science a more inclusive and accessible discipline. I additionally will apply this training through outreach to communicate STEM to the Madison community both on and off campus.

Bethany McCarty, PhD student, Chemistry

Formation of Four-Membered Rings from a Three-Membered Ring via Carbene Insertion

Four-membered rings, though difficult to synthesize, are important due to their significance in biologically active compounds. This research proposes using a ligated-metal catalyst to expand three-membered rings like cyclopropanes, epoxides, and aziridines to their analogous four-membered rings; cyclobutanes, oxetanes, and azetidines, respectively.

This proposed transformation will fill a need by creating a general method for forming these four-membered rings, advancing knowledge of carbene-inserted ring expansion. This novel approach would allow better access for scientists interested in creating biologically active four-membered rings. Current methods are impractical, requiring a very specific set of conditions, resulting in low yields, difficult to separate mixtures, or are not practical on a large scale. Having access to four-membered rings would allow more studies to be done on biologically active compounds that contain four-membered rings.

Patrick Monari, PhD student, Psychology

The Role of Adult Olfactory Neurogenesis in Paternal Behavior

Paternal behavior is a key component of biparental care in many monogamous vertebrates, such as humans, and is a social strategy considered crucial for the evolution of monogamy. An intriguing and understudied mechanism for the regulation of paternal behavior is the integration of neurons born in adulthood into existing social recognition circuitry.

This project will expand participation in STEM by involving undergraduate students with limited research experience. Additionally, the results will be shared at international conferences as well as at local meetings.

Zachary Morrow, PhD student, Cellular & Molecular Biology

Elucidating Signaling Pathways Critical for Immune Cell Specification and Development

I found that mice lacking TPL2, a MAP3K, are deficient in their ability to produce myeloid immune cell precursors in response to cytokine cues. By elucidating the signaling pathways mediated by TPL2, I will gain a better understanding of how immune cell development occurs and can be modulated for therapeutic intervention.

Myeloid immune cells are critical for the initial and sustained response to bacterial pathogens, viruses and cancer. Therefore, elucidating the developmental processes that regulate myeloid immune cell development stands to benefit far-reaching segments of society.

Kathleen Nickson, PhD student, Chemistry

Composition and Clustering Behavior of Atmospherically-Relevant Oxidation Products

I propose monitoring individual clusters of alpha-pinene oxidation products to find patterns between structure and clustering effects to advance the understanding of New Particle Formation and growth. This research will be significant to advancing current global climate models.

Katherine Parrish, PhD student, Chemistry

My research proposal utilizes the unique properties of metamaterials to influence reaction chemistry. This work would constitute a new use of metamaterials as a tool for synthesis, and would have a great impact on industrial and pharmaceutical syntheses.

Jennifer Peotter, PhD student, Biochemistry

Determining the Mechanisms by which TFG Functions in Early Secretory Pathway Cargo Transport

My work is focused on understanding how Trk-fused gene (TFG), an essential protein in the early secretory pathway, regulates protein export out of the endoplasmic reticulum. I am specifically looking at how differently sized proteins can be properly packaged and exported from the endoplasmic reticulum. Mutations in TFG have also been found in patients with Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia and I hope this work will provide insights into understanding disease progression and future interventions.

Bella Reichardt, BS student, Biomedical Engineering

Myocardial Vasculogenesis Model for Cardiomyocyte Maturation Studies

This project proposes to create a development-informed model of myocardial vasculogenesis. I then proposed to use this 3D model to study stem cell-derived cardiomyocyte maturation and screen for maturation markers.

By developing a myocardial development model, my project would build a platform that could serve as an enabling technology for the development of novel cardiomyocyte-mediated cell therapies for myocardial repair. A post-myocardial infarction cell therapy could mitigate the long-term effects of a heart attack, such as heart failure. As heart disease is a leading cause of death, this research could affect the lifespan of many people, and reduce spending on heart disease in the U.S.

Daniel Salgueiro, PhD student, Chemistry

Cross-coupling reactions to form carbon-carbon bonds are among the most commonly used reactions in the chemical industry. The push to reduce cost and waste has led synthetic chemists to explore C-H functionalization, the process of forming C-C, C-O, and C-N bonds from “unreactive” C-H bonds. My work will focus on exploring the use of diaryl ketone catalysts to perform C-H activation within the context of cross-coupling chemistry to develop a method for allylic C-H arylation via cooperative triplet ketone and palladium catalysis.

Due to the prevalence of cross-coupling reactions in the fine chemical industries, developing a reaction methodology that can achieve the formation of C-C bonds directly from a C-H bond could vastly reduce the amount of waste generated. The development of this reaction would be a great platform to combine with my current efforts in engaging the local Madison community in a discourse on chemistry, allowing me to teach the public about how modern chemists approach the reduction of waste in the chemical industries.

Dylan Schmitz, PhD student, Mechanical Engineering

Wearable Sensors to Assess and Enhance Exosuit Effectiveness

Wearable robotic systems that assist human movement (i.e. exosuits and exoskeletons) have the potential to enhance rehabilitation, compensate for physical disabilities, and augment function. Limitations in current exosuit assessments and control strategies can be addressed with a novel wearable sensor that evaluates muscle-tendon forces in real time, providing the first direct measurement of the loads that exosuits are designed to offset.

Improvement of exosuit technologies contributes to the public good by compensating for some of the limitations that prevent those with physical disabilities from engaging in and contributing to society. Additionally, the wearable sensor will be incorporated into a K-12 learning module to teach students about how muscle-tendon force change during locomotion and common sports movements.

Katherine Senn, PhD student, Biochemistry

Characterization of the Splice Isoforms of the Transcription Factor Estrogen Receptor alpha

Our lab has identified isoforms of Estrogen Receptor alpha arising from alternative splicing in breast cancer patient samples. I will use biochemical approaches to assay their functional properties and functional genomics to investigate the impact of the isoforms genome-wide.

This research will provide insight into the transcription factor activity of ER isoforms and be a base for understanding the roles of each isoform in gene expression during development and in diseases including breast cancer.

Emily Setton, PhD student, Zoology

How do Spiders Spin their Webs? Linking New Genes and Novel Phenotypes

My research seeks to discover the genetic basis for the spinneret, the web-spinning organ of spiders. I will apply RNA sequencing to the developing primordia of spider spinnerets and other appendages, in conjunction with bioinformatic approaches, to identify candidate genes that confer spinneret identity, and thereafter knock down these targets using RNA interference in the cobweb spider.

Spider spinnerets represent a key evolutionary innovation that has facilitated the diversification of this charismatic group, yet the genetic architecture underlying this trait remains unknown. My research tests the hypothesis that evolutionary novelties (like spinnerets of spiders) are patterned by evolutionarily young genes. Deciphering the genetic architecture of spinnerets may potentially enable functional manipulations of spiders and their silk for bioengineering and biomedical applications.

Thomas Shannon, BS student, Environmental Science and English

Understanding Complex Responses of Cyanobacteria to Shifting Environments

Blue-green algae are thought to become dominant in lakes that experience increased average temperatures or increased salt concentrations from road salt, but the possibility that these factors may work synergistically to create increased harmful algae blooms has not been investigated. I propose to study a series of lakes across a large north-south distribution by creating contained environments within them, to study the possible interacting effects of different temperatures and salinity concentrations on algal communities.

Blue-green algae blooms can be harmful to fish, swimmers, and local tourist economies, so it is in our best interests to understand which lakes might be most vulnerable and how to prevent increased blooms. This work could lead to better predictive models and an increased understanding of how land managers and communities may work cooperatively to limit blue-green algae presence in their local lakes.

Trevor Simmons, BS student, Chemical Engineering

I am engineering the metabolism of E. coli to produce compounds known as methyl ketones. Methyl ketones are molecules that are associated with flavors and scents. They are industrially utilized in the fragrance and food industries.

I am developing a high throughput screen to engineer specific enzymes in the metabolic pathway in order to increase the activity in these enzymes, thus allowing for more overall methyl ketone production.

The broader impacts of this work focus on developing a renewable method to produce methyl ketones. Currently, methyl ketones are produced through heavy chemical processes. Improving this biological pathway for methyl ketone production could eventually allow for a renewable process that could economically compete with current production.

Seth Spawn, PhD student, Geography

Seeking Space for Diversification in United States Agriculture

My project will leverage satellite data to assess the impacts of current crop rotations on both yield and environmental outcomes nationwide. I will then use this information to model scenarios of rotation diversification in hopes of finding ways to maintain requisite levels of production while minimizing environmental harm.

This work aims to build capacity among farmers by disseminating information on rotational options and their potential outcomes. Recognizing, though, that producers’ decisions are ultimately tied to market factors, I also plan to leverage my ongoing relationships with science-based advocacy organizations to position project findings in the debate around agricultural and environmental policy.

Julia Thomas, PhD student, Sociology

Capital Punishment and the Legacy of Lynching

This project uses historical data and advanced statistical techniques to examine whether, when, and how contemporary capital punishment operates as “legal lynching” in the U.S. It takes into account the race of the victim and race of the offender to also examine the role of racialized norms in contemporary sentencing.

This is the first comprehensive assessment of the connections between historical racial violence and contemporary sentencing. The results may shed light on inequality in the use of capital punishment.

Nathan Wang, BS student, Chemical Engineering

Machine Learning to Develop Antimicrobial Peptides with Heterogeneous Backbones   

The generation of new classes of peptidomimetics which exhibit desirable properties, such as antimicrobial activity, necessitate better methods to understand how to design sequences with optimal properties. Machine learning can help guide this design, and in this proposal, I look specifically at antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) which contain noncanonical beta-amino acids.

AMPs exhibit activity against bacteria, fungus, and cancer cells, and AMPs even impede the development of drug resistance in the targeted cells by lysing membranes via non-receptor-mediated interactions. Understanding how their structure relates to these properties would help design drugs that could greatly mitigate the risk of microbial drug resistance.

Brian Weaver, PhD student, Biophysics

Expression and Spectroscopic Characterization of Cobalt-Substituted Hemoproteins

Develop a robust and simplified method for overexpression of cobalt-substituted hemoproteins for use in biocatalytic reactions. Spectroscopic investigations of the proteins will be used to validate the expression protocol and generate a detailed understanding of electronic properties of the cobalt-porphyrin cofactor in each protein.

This work looks to expand the scope of green, biocatalytic reactions, which do not require harsh organic solvents that contribute to chemical waste and pollution. Additionally, I propose to mentor undergraduates and participate in scientific outreach programs at UW–Madison.

Meng Xu, PhD student, Chemistry

Multimodal Imaging and Quantitation Of N-glycans And Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) In Extracellular Matrix (ECM)

This project focuses on creating a map of the extracellular matrix by multiplexing chemical analyses of protein, N-glycans, and GAGs with multiple imaging modalities to image collagen alignment and tissue morphology. One tissue quantitation method will be developed to quantify the concentrations of these important biomolecules in the tissues.

The impact of this project is to raise awareness of cancer and help to develop cancer treatments. Train and mentor undergraduate and graduate students.

Past Awardees

In total, the NSF named 2,000 students as recipients of 2018’s GRFP awards, selected through peer review process from over 12,000 applicants.

The twenty-seven UW-Madison awardees are:

  • Tesia Janicki, PhD student, Chemistry
  • Edna Chiang, PhD student, Microbiology
  • Juan Camilo Bohorquez, PhD student, Physics
  • Benjamin Gastfriend, PhD student, Chemical Engineering
  • Audrey Evans, PhD student, Electrical Engineering
  • Michael Aristov, PhD student, Chemistry
  • Mitchell Ledwith, PhD student, Cellular & Molecular Biology
  • Stephanie Blaszczyk-Beasley, PhD student, Chemistry
  • Curran Gahan, PhD student, Chemical Engineering
  • Delia Scoville, PhD student, Biochemistry
  • Kristin Brunk, MS student, Wildlife Ecology
  • Bryan Lakey, PhD student, Genetics
  • Nathan Murray, PhD student, Biochemistry
  • Katherine Mueller, PhD student, Cellular & Molecular Biology
  • Aidan McKenzie, PhD student, Biochemistry
  • Natalie Duncombe, PhD student, Economics
  • Camilo Machuca, PhD student, Astronomy
  • Christopher McAllester, PhD student, Genetics
  • Jhewelle Fitz-Henley, PhD student, Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Gabriela Negrete-Garcia, BS Degree, Chemistry
  • Kiersten Haffey, undergraduate, Biomedical Engineering
  • Emily Jewell, undergraduate, Engineering Mechanics
  • Hunter Johnson, undergraduate, Biomedical Engineering
  • Celeste Keith, General Course – BS Degree
  • Taylor McKenna Marohl, undergraduate, Biomedical Engineering
  • Lucas Oxtoby, BS Degree, Chemistry
  • Elizabeth Rose Penn, undergraduate, Geological Engineering

In total, the NSF named 2,000 students as recipients of 2017’s GRFP awards, selected through peer review process from over 13,000 applicants.

The twenty-one UW-Madison awardees are:

  • Bayleigh Benner, PhD student, Microbiology
  • Brian Carrick, PhD student, Biochemistry
  • Patrick Cervantes, PhD student, Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • Julie Davis, PhD/Master’s student, Astronomy
  • Alexandra DiNicola, PhD student, Botany
  • Leah Escalante, PhD student, Genetics
  • Christine Isabella, PhD student, Biochemistry
  • Taylor Keding, PhD student, Neuroscience
  • Jesse Kidd, PhD student, Chemistry
  • Samantha Knott, PhD student, Chemistry
  • Elizabeth Laudadio, PhD student, Chemistry
  • Nicole Piscopo, PhD student, Biomedical Engineering
  • Paige Piszel, PhD student, Chemistry
  • Kyle Robinson, PhD student, Biochemistry
  • Taylor Scott, PhD student, Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • Matthew Styles, PhD student, Chemistry
  • Edwin Suarez-Zayas, PhD student, Neuroscience
  • Sydney Thomas, PhD student, Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • Daniel Vigil, BS student, Chemical Engineering
  • Thejas Wesley, BS student, Chemical Engineering
  • Randee Young, PhD student, Genetics