Diversity, science leadership grants awarded to student-faculty pairs

Two graduate students and their respective faculty advisers were awarded grants for scientific leadership and dedication to diversity and inclusion in the sciences.

Two graduate students at the School of Medicine and their faculty advisers have been awarded fellowship grants by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

The institute awarded 45 Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study grants to student-adviser pairs who have the potential to become leaders in their respective fields and are dedicated to promoting diversity in the sciences.

Each pair will receive an annual award of $50,000 for up to three years, including a stipend, a training allowance and an institutional allowance. A portion of the award will go toward supporting activities intended to foster diversity and inclusion within the mentors’ labs and departments.

The Stanford student-adviser awardees are:

  • Matias Kaplan, a bioengineering graduate student whose work focuses on understanding the relationship between sequence and structure of certain RNA switches for use in metabolic engineering and medical applications. His adviser is Christina Smolke, PhD, professor of bioengineering.
  • Abel Ferrel, a microbiology and immunology graduate student whose work focuses on how the single-celled Toxoplasma parasite interacts with the host cell in the chronic stage of infection. His adviser is John Boothroyd, PhD, the Burt and Marion Avery Professor and professor of microbiology and immunology.


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