We welcome NSURE student Ivy Khevali to the lab this week. She is coming to us from Del Mar College in Corpus Christi. She will be followed next week by UGA student Kendall Clay. Then the lab will be available for the remainder of the NSURE program for students who choose the lab as their “home” lab. Lots of exciting science and learning going on in the lab!
We’re excited to welcome our new lab members this week. Undergraduate students Raag, Rachel, and Labo are going to join us on Friday. We have also welcomed our 1st cohort of NSURE students to UGA and the RRG lab is currently hosting student Sara Anne McCommon, from the University of South Carolina at Aiken. The UGA NSURE program (funded by the NIH) is a neuroscience research experience for undergrads and has 3 1-week rotations before students join a “home” lab, so we are likely to have another couple of NSURE students before the summer is over. Welcome to all new RRG lab members!
I’m so excited that I can finally announce that I was selected as a 2019 recipient of the McKnight Scholar Award, an annual award for junior faculty in the field of neuroscience. This award will fund two of our exciting projects in the area of neural regeneration. The McKnight Foundation is a family foundation (founded by William and Maude McKnight) based in the midwest that “advances a more just, creative, and abundant future where people and planet thrive.” The foundation funds work in a diverse set of areas, including education, the arts, the environment, AND neuroscience! I am the first McKnight Scholar Award recipient from the University of Georgia, so this award is exciting and also a huge honor. I was so grateful to be considered as a finalist; this gave me the opportunity to discuss our work with the esteemed members of the McKnight Scholar Awards Selection Committee. They asked wonderful and thought-provoking questions and their feedback was incredibly valuable. I’m looking forward to the opportunities that this Award will give to me and the lab, moving forward.
We really enjoyed the Developmental Biology Alliance Spring Symposium last week! The DBA is an interdisciplinary group at UGA that has a common interest in all things developmental biology - from tissue patterning to neurogenesis to stem cell biology to organogenesis (and more!). We had an excellent keynote address by Dr. Marty Cohn from the University of Florida. RRG lab graduate students presented posters and we all enjoyed excellent talks from DBA grad students and postdocs. We also enjoyed being with our colleagues and chatting about new ideas for several projects. Such a fun event and we’re already looking forward to the fall symposium!
We had a potluck to celebrate the end (almost) of the academic year, which was a busy and eventful one for the RRG lab. We had some great BBQ from Pulaski Heights and lab members brought lots of yummy food, too. My daughter was especially excited to have “Mommy’s students” come to her house and I’m grateful that my students were willing to play “Guess what animal I am.” Thanks to all of these awesome folks for doing science with me.