2017-2018 Stinski undergraduate research fellowship winners

Vishal Perera and Emily Hoeper

Undergraduate Microbiology students Emily Hoeper and Vishal Perera have been awarded the Stinski Undergraduate Research Fellowship for 2017-2018. The fellowship's purpose is to support undergraduates in pursuit of research in the field of microbiology.  Along with a monthly stipend, it covers full tuition for the next school year for each of them.

Emily Hoeper's response:

"I will be doing research in Dr. Tim Yahr's lab my senior year. I hope to work at Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT) in Coralville, IA after I graduate for a year or two before going to graduate school for virology. I hope to one day receive my Ph.D. and teach undergraduates so I can inspire the next generation of microbiologists."

Vishal Perera's response:

"Being chosen for the Stinski Undergraduate Research Fellowship is a true honor. Although I have worked hard in the research lab, I would not be receiving this award without many, many people who inspire and believe in me. Importantly, I am most grateful for my mother, Shashi. My direct mentor, Dr. Wadie Mahauad-Fernandez, and my faculty mentor, Dr. Chioma Okeoma, continue to provide me with guided mentorship and a lab environment in which I learn new things every day.

Throughout my remaining two years as an undergraduate, I plan on continuing my work on BST-2, a human antiviral host factor shown to have pro-tumor effects when overexpressed. At the moment, I am studying the interaction of BST-2 with Vpu, a viral protein derived from HIV-1 that targets and neutralizes the effects of BST-2.

After graduation, I aspire to attend the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine as an M.D./Ph.D. student. Carver's research scholar program, the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) would be a perfect intersection of patient care and research. I will use my experience in the research laboratory now to build a foundation for my future career in the nature and treatment of disease."

The Stinski Undergraduate Research Fellowship is an endowed fund created with proceeds from a successful patent awarded to Professor Mark F. Stinski. Professor Stinski was on the faculty of the Department of Microbiology from 1973-2011 and continues his affiliation with the Department in Emeritus status. To read more about the fellowship, you can visit the webpage: Stinski Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Friday, March 24, 2017