Institute News Winter 2018 Issue 43

McGovern Institute Names Six Graduate Fellows

Clockwise from top left: Sara Beach, Julia Juong, Steven Sando, Xiaochen Sun, Tobias Kaiser and Ishan Gupta
Clockwise from top left: Sara Beach, Julia Juong, Steven Sando, Xiaochen Sun, Tobias Kaiser and Ishan Gupta

Six McGovern Institute graduate students have been awarded fellowships for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Three students, Sara Beach, Julia Juong and Steven Sando, have received Friends of the McGovern Institute fellowships. Beach is a graduate student in John Gabrieli’s lab who is using neuroimaging to understand the brain basis of language, including language-learning aptitude, aphasia and dyslexia. Juong, a third-year graduate student in Feng Zhang’s lab, is planning an ambitious project to identify transcription factors that drive the differentiation of specific neuronal cell types. Sando, who studies C. elegans behavior in Bob Horvitz’s lab, has already discovered new behaviors in the worm and has successfully employed a variety of techniques to analyze these behaviors.

Ishan Gupta, a graduate student in Ed Boyden’s lab, has been awarded the Janet and Sheldon Razin Fellowship for his work imaging the activity of the living brain with unprecedented precision. Gupta will explore ways to manipulate the optical properties of the living brain, allowing its dynamical activity to be imaged in real time.

The newly established Hock E. Tan and K. Lisa Yang Center for Autism Research has awarded its first student fellowship to Tobias Kaiser, a graduate student in the lab of Guoping Feng. Kaiser studies the mechanisms underlying psychiatric disease and his thesis research focuses on developing gene therapy tools for Shank-3-related autism.

Xiaochen Sun, a graduate student in Yingxi Lin’s lab, is the recipient of this year’s Hugo Shong Fellowship. Sun’s thesis project aims to genetically identify neurons that are involved in encoding sensory and behavioral information, and to understand how these neurons are modified by experience.

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