Tina W. Han, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), who did her graduate work at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UT Southwestern), has been named the winner of the first $5,000 ASCB Kaluza Prize supported by Beckman Coulter for outstanding research by a graduate student. Han won for her breakthrough work on the functional characterization of RNA granules while in Steven McKnight's lab at UT Southwestern. Nine additional Kaluza entrants were named winners of ASCB Beckman Coulter Distinguished Graduate Student Achievement Prizes, which will include travel awards to attend the 2014 ASCB Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.
Han was the unanimous choice of the selection committee, according to ASCB President Don Cleveland, who served as a judge along with ASCB President-Elect Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, and longtime ASCB member Peter Walter. Identifying Han as a future leader in cell biology, the selection committee said that her research has broad implications for the study of synaptic transmission and neurodegenerative disease, describing her work as presenting a novel way of thinking about cellular organization.
Han will be awarded a check for the $5,000 ASCB Kaluza Prize supported by Beckman Coulter at a special presentation just before the Keith R. Porter Lecture at the 2013 ASCB Annual Meeting in New Orleans on Sunday, December 15, at 6:30 pm.
Winners of ASCB Beckman Coulter Distinguished Graduate Student Achievement Prizes include:
• Liron Bar-Peled for graduate work at MIT (now a postdoctoral fellow at The Scripps Research Institute)
• Scott Coyle for graduate work at UCSF
• Nathan Derr for graduate work at Harvard University (now an Assistant Professor at Smith College)
• Wenwen Fang for graduate work at Princeton University (now a postdoctoral fellow at Whitehead Institute)
• Jonathan Friedman for graduate work at the University of Colorado, Boulder (now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Davis)
• Ruei-Jiun Hung for graduate work at UT Southwestern Medical Center (now a postdoctoral fellow at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Medical School)
• Jessica Polka for graduate work at UCSF (now a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School)
• Chung Yiu Jonathan Tang for graduate work at Harvard Medical School
• Jiaxi Wu for graduate work at UT Southwestern Medical Center