New Tabor young investigator
award winner

Biswarathan Ramani won the Journal of Biological Chemistry/Herb Tabor Young Investigator Award at the 8th International Conference on Unstable Microsatellites and Human Disease earlier this year in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Joel Gottesfeld, an associate editor for the Journal of Biological Chemistry, conferred the award.

Biswarathan Ramani, a graduate student at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, won a Journal of Biological Chemistry/Herbert Tabor Young Investigator Award. Ramani investigates the pathogenesis of the hereditary neurodegenerative disease spinocerebellar ataxia type 3, or SCA3, in the laboratory of Henry Paulson.

Born in Bangalore, India, Ramani now calls the United States Midwest his home. He received his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign before moving to Ann Arbor to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. through the university’s Medical Scientist Training Program.

Ramani uses mouse models to study SCA3, in which the disease protein ataxin-3 is misfolded and thus aggregates in the nervous system. His project focuses on identifying factors that change ataxin-3 aggregation and the overall contribution of this aggregation to SCA3 pathogenesis and neurodegeneration. His work has helped uncover a potential role for alternative splicing in this process.

Ramani received the Tabor award at the 8th International Conference on Unstable Microsatellites and Human Disease earlier this year in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

“I was definitely surprised but felt deeply honored for receiving the award, considering the number of talented, hardworking scientists at the meeting who presented beautiful work,” Ramani said. He credits his mentor and lab members, adding, “I’m as proud of the people who have guided me through this as much as they are of me.”

After completing his thesis research, Ramani hopes to continue pursuing his goal to become a physician-scientist with a focus on neurology and to continue his efforts to understand the molecular mechanisms that underlie neurological diseases.

Aditi Dubey Aditi Dubey is a graduate student studying the mechanism of selenocysteine incorporation at Rutgers University Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.