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Mentoring the Next Generation of Scientists
CHORI Undergraduate UCB Research Student Receives ASM Fellowship
CHORI is pleased to announce that University of California, Berkeley (UCB) student Tara Srinivasan, who has been a student researcher in the lab of CHORI senior scientist, Deborah Dean, MD, MPH, is one of only 13 undergraduate students to receive a highly coveted American Society for Microbiology (ASM) fellowship award.

"It's a particularly competitive fellowship program for undergraduates," says Dr. Dean. "Tara is an exceptional student and she put together a really impressive application. Her passion and aptitude clearly came through."

“Tara is an exceptional student and she put together a really impressive application. .”


The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) is the oldest and largest single biological membership organization, with over 40,000 members worldwide. This year they received 81 applications from undergraduates, doctorates and post-doctorates all hoping to receive an award.

"One of the reasons the fellowships are so competitive is that more and more students at all levels are applying for fellowships since funding is tight. In addition to a stipend for the research, part of the award is that the ASM pays for recipients to attend their general meeting," Dr. Dean says. "Tens of thousands of people attend these meetings so the opportunity to present your research in front of that kind of audience is huge."

Ms. Srinivasan's research project, entitled, "Mechanisms of Recombination Chlamydia trachomatis," will be carried out under the supervision of her mentor, Dr. Dean, who is also a professor at UCB.

"The basic idea behind the research project is to figure out if we can develop an in vitro model for Chlamydia trachomatis recombination that accurately mimics the recombination that happens in real life," explains Dr. Dean.

Chlamydia trachomatis is an intracellular parasite that is the leading cause of preventable blindness in the world, as well as the most common cause of sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the industrialized world. Understanding the frequency of genomic recombination that occurs in nature will be essential to being able to develop a vaccine to successfully protect against Chlamydia infections.

Thanks to the ASM Undergraduate Research Fellowship Award, Ms. Srinivasan will be able to conduct full time research to help develop this in vitro recombination model.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011 8:19 AM

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