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August 2011

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Fellows fare well in 2012 award competition

By Eddy Ball
August 2011

Joseph  Burgents, Ph.D.

Intramural Research and Training (IRTA) Fellow Joseph Burgents, Ph.D., “CD103+ and CD11b+ pulmonary dendritic cells display distinct migratory properties during steady-state and following allergic sensitization,” Principal Investigator Donald Cook, Ph.D.( (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

NIEHS excelled once again during the 2012 NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence (FARE) competition, with NIEHS trainees receiving 21 of the prestigious awards.

Two NIEHS fellows were repeat winners - Xueqian (Shirley) Wang, Ph.D., with her third consecutive award, and Saurabh Chatterjee, Ph.D., with his second. Two groups had more than one member who received FARE awards this year - three fellows from the Cell Biology Group( led by Chief of the Laboratory of Respiratory Biology Anton Jetten, Ph.D., and two from a Biostatistics Branch Bioinformatics Group(, led by Principal Investigator Raja Jothi, Ph.D.

NIEHS fellows received nearly 10 percent of the 218 awarded this year to fellows in training at the 27 NIH institutes and centers (ICs) by the NIH Fellows Committee (FelCom) FARE Subcommittee. Although NIEHS is in the midrange in terms of size and budget among the NIH institutes, the Institute placed among the top five in number of awards.

FARE awards are the result of peer review by special study sections of the abstracts submitted by fellows. The awards reflect the scientific excellence of the winners, the quality of the NIEHS training and career development program, and the superior mentoring that takes place in the Institute's labs.

The FARE program is sponsored by the FelCom, Offices of the Scientific Directors, the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health, and the NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education, and is funded by the Scientific Directors and the Office of Research on Women's Health. Fellows submit abstracts based on their research, which are reviewed and ranked by panels of senior scientists.

The prizes are both an honor and a source of additional support for trainee professional and career development:

  • A $1000 travel award to attend a scientific meeting at which they present their work
  • An invitation to present their posters at the annual Research Festival and attend the FARE award ceremony held in October
  • Eligibility to serve as judges for the following year's FARE competition

Photo credits include trainee's name, abstract title, and mentor. Abstracts are posted online (  Download Adobe Reader (619 KB).

Nisha  Cavanaugh, Ph.D.

IRTA Fellow Nisha Cavanaugh, Ph.D., “New Insights into Ribonucleotide Discrimination by DNA Polymerase Beta,” Principal Investigator Samuel Wilson, M.D.( (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Xiaoqing Chang, Ph.D.

Visiting Fellow Xiaoqing Chang, Ph.D., “A Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic Model of Micro and Nano Sized Fluorescent Polystyrene Spheres in Rats,” NTP Biomolecular Screening Branch Chief Ray Tice, Ph.D. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Saurabh  Chatterjee, Ph.D.

Visiting Fellow Saurabh Chatterjee, Ph.D., “Leptin signaling synergizes environmental bromodichloromethane exposure-induced post translational protein oxidations, antigen presentation and exacerbation of steatohepatitis of obesity,” Principal Investigator Ronald Mason, Ph.D. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Saiful Chowdhury, Ph.D.

Research Fellow Saiful Chowdhury, Ph.D., “Proteomic analysis of lipid rafts from ATP Binding Cassette Transporter A1-deficient macrophages reveals novel regulatory events in the innate immune response,” Principal Investigator Michael Fessler, M.D.( (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Johannes M. Freudenberg, Ph.D.

Research Fellow Johannes M. Freudenberg, Ph.D., “A meta-analysis reveals novel regulators required for mouse embryonic stem cell self-renewal,” Principal Investigator Raja Jothi, Ph.D.( (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Huiming Gao, M.D., Ph.D.

Research Fellow Huiming Gao, M.D., Ph.D., “HMGB1 (high-mobility group box 1) acts on microglia Mac1 (macrophage antigen complex 1) to mediate chronic neuroinflammation that drives progressive neurodegeneration,” Principal Investigator Jau-Shyong Hong, Ph.D.( (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Jill  Hesse, Ph.D.

IRTA Fellow Jill Hesse, Ph.D., “Identification and Discovery of DNA Damage-Induced microRNA Expression Changes by Microarray and Next-Generation Sequencing in Wild-Type and ATM-Deficient Human Mammary Epithelial Cells,” Principal Investigator Richard Paules, Ph.D.( (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Anne Lai, Ph.D.

IRTA Fellow Anne Lai, Ph.D., “DNA methylation primes the memory B cell epigenome for plasma cell differentiation,” Principal Investigator Paul Wade, Ph.D.( (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Hong  Li, M.D.

Research Fellow Hong Li, M.D., “Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) Negatively Regulates IL-9+/CD4+ T cells (Th9) Differentiation during Allergic Lung Inflammation through down-regulation of IL-17RB,” Principal Investigator Darryl Zeldin, M.D.( (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Kristin Lichti-Kaiser, Ph.D.

IRTA Fellow Kristin Lichti-Kaiser, Ph.D., “The Role of Glis3 in the Development of Functional Pancreatic Beta-cells and Diabetes,” Principal Investigator Anton Jetten, Ph.D.( (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Leelavati Narlikar, Ph.D.

Special Volunteer Leelavati Narlikar, Ph.D., “Genome-wide characterization of CTCF's role as an enhancer-blocker,” Principal Investigator Raja Jothi, Ph.D.( (Photo courtesy of Leelavati Narlikar)

Kosuke Saito, Ph.D.

Visiting Fellow Kosuke Saito, Ph.D. “The role of the potassium channel KCNK1 in the sexual dimorphic centrilobular hypertrophy induced by phenobarbital in mouse liver,” Principal Investigator Masahiko Negishi, Ph.D.( (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Yukimasa Takeda, Ph.D.

Visiting Fellow Yukimasa Takeda, Ph.D., “Retinoic acid-related orphan receptor gamma, RORgamma, coordinates the circadian regulation of energy homeostasis through the control of hepatic lipid and glucose metabolism,” Principal Investigator Anton Jetten, Ph.D.( (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Percy Tumbale, Ph.D.

IRTA Fellow Percy Tumbale, Ph.D.(, “Structural Basis of DNA Ligase Proofreading by Aprataxin with insights into AOA1 Neurodegenerative Disease,” Principal Investigator Scott Williams, Ph.D.( (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Kirsten Verhein, Ph.D.

IRTA Fellow Kirsten Verhein, Ph.D., “Candidate susceptibility genes in a murine model of RSV-induced bronchiolitis,” Principal Investigator Steven Kleeberger, Ph.D.( (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Huanchen Wang, Ph.D.

IRTA Fellow Huanchen Wang, Ph.D., “Substrate Specificity and Catalysis Mechanism of Inositol Pyrophosphate Kinase,” Principal Investigator Stephen Shears, Ph.D.( (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Xueqian (Shirley) Wang, Ph.D.

Research Fellow Xueqian (Shirley) Wang, Ph.D., “Nuclear Factor E2-Related Factor-2 (Nrf2) Regulates P-glycoprotein Expression at the Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) by Acting Through p38 MAP Kinase,” Principal Investigator David Miller, Ph.D. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Wipawee (Joy) Winuthayanon, Ph.D.

Research Fellow Wipawee (Joy) Winuthayanon, Ph.D., “Role of epithelial estrogen receptor alpha in the oviduct during fertilization and embryo development,” Principal Investigator Kenneth Korach, Ph.D.( (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Mengyuan (Tracy) Xu, Ph.D.

Research Fellow Mengyuan (Tracy) Xu, Ph.D., “coMOTIF: A Mixture Framework for Identifying Transcription Factor and a Co-regulator Motifs in ChIP-seq Data,” Principal Investigator Leping Li, Ph.D.( (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Weinberg)

Zhengyu Yin, Ph.D.

Visiting Fellow Zhengyu Yin, Ph.D., “RAP80 Plays a Critical Role in Maintaining Genomic Stability and Tumor Suppressing,” Principal Investigator Anton Jetten, Ph.D.( (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

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