February 2012

Rising stars at special symposium on ATPase


This past fall, ASBMB held an ATPase Symposium in California with nearly 200 attendees and 187 abstracts. Ten “Best Presentation” awards were issued to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who presented outstanding short talks and posters. Find out more about the winners below. We look forward to continuing to support student research in 2012 and to seeing more great work from each of these awardees. For the 2012 Special Symposia Series calendar, visit www.asbmb.org/specialsymposia
 

Tara N. Rindler

Graduate student in the department of molecular genetics, biochemistry and microbiology, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine; B.S. in zoology and minors in math and molecular biology, Miami University in Ohio

Q: What is your primary area of research?
My primary area of research is focused on the study of hypertension and cardiovascular disease in animal models, which will provide a comprehensive approach to study human cardiovascular diseases in a manner most likely to translate into therapeutic treatment for human patients.

Q: What led you to this kind of research?
With the high prevalence of cardiovascular disease in the United States, I became interested in the study and treatment of cardiovascular diseases early in my undergraduate career.

Q: Who has been an important role model or mentor and why? A: My mother has been and remains an important role model in my life. She has always encouraged me to reach for the stars and to pursue all my dreams.

Q: What is your career goal? 
My long-term career goal is to establish an independent research laboratory focused on hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

 


Erica Cirri

Ph.D. student at the University of Konstanz in Germany; bachelor's in chemistry and master's in chemistry of biological molecules, University of Florence in Italy

Q: What is your primary area of research?
Membrane biophysics

Q: What led you to this kind of research?
During my studies, I have been particularly fascinated by membrane proteins because of their linking role between the outside and inside the cell. My research gives me the opportunity to deal with questions related to many different scientific fields at the edge between biology, physics and chemistry.

Q: Who has been an important role model or mentor and why?
One of my role models is Rita Levi-Montalcini, the only Italian woman to ever win the Nobel prize in physiology and medicine. She is a great example of how passion and dedication can lead to incredible discoveries and an even more incredible life.

Q: What is your career goal?
My career goal is to become an expert in membrane transporters and be a reference point for the research community in this area.

 


Pontus Gourdon

Postdoc in Poul Nissen's laboratory at Aarhus University in Denmark; M.Sc. in bioengineering from Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, and Ph.D. in structural biochemistry from Richard Neutze's group at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden

Q. What is your primary area of research?
Structure-function studies of membrane proteins.I am currently focusing on different P-type ATPases.

Q. What led you to this kind of research?
Structures are required for understanding the function of proteins, and they can also help in applied science, for instance for drug design. In addition, we know relatively little about the mechanisms of membrane proteins.

Q. Who has been an important role model or mentor and why?
Notably, I have had two amazing supervisors since I started my Ph.D.: Richard Neutze (during my Ph.D.) and my current supervisor, Poul Nissen. They have both been highly inspiring and great sources of new ideas and solutions to problems.

Q. What is your career goal?
Elucidating new membrane protein structures and the molecular basis for their function. 

 

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