RDSP 5th Annual Research Day

Announcing this year’s award winners for best oral presentation, Robin Kruger, and best poster presentation, Alex Moauro, at the 5th Annual RDSP Research Day, held April 14th at the Interdisciplinary Science & Technology Building (ISTB) on the East Lansing campus.

Special thanks to all of the organizers and volunteers who helped make the event a success!

The 2022 Trainee Organizing Committee:

Soo Hyun Ahn, Ph.D.
Gregory Burns, Ph.D. 
Cole McCutcheon
Kaitlin Karl
Genna Moldovan
Maria Ochoa-Bernal
Diana Pacyga
Yong Song, M.D., Ph.D.
Alexandra Yaw, Ph.D. 
Zhaoran Zhang

Christina Chan

At Michigan State University, researchers are unlocking the power of genuine collaboration to drive discovery and create healthier tomorrows for all.

Spartan engineers are partnering with biological and health scientists to develop innovative solutions to fight diseases and improve treatments.

“Engineers and biological scientists look at problems differently,” says Christina Chan, University Distinguished Professor, George W. Bissell Professor and interim chairperson of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. “The advantage of having different perspectives is that then people come with different backgrounds, and that tends to engender a more creative approach to solving some of these research problems and questions that are raised.”

Read Full Article on MSUToday


asgi fazleabasDr. Asgi Fazleabas received the 2020 Career Achievement Alumni Award from the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. This award recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of living University of Illinois College of ACES alumni who have had exceptional professional achievement and/or made extraordinary humanitarian contributions. Due to COVID, last year’s gala was virtual, so recipients attended this year’s gala in person to be recognized for their great accomplishments.

View Alumni Gala Program PDF

rita strakovsky phdDr. Rita Strakovsky received the 2021 Outstanding Young Alumni Award from the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The award recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of University of Illinois College of ACES young alumni who have had exceptional professional achievement and/or made extraordinary humanitarian contributions.

View Alumni Gala Program PDF

Yuan Wang

For a human life to form, a sperm must fertilize an egg. Michigan State University’s Yuan Wang is working to understand how the precursors of eggs and sperm are developed in embryos and what interferes with this process to cause infertility in adults.

"In multicell organisms like humans, one fertilized egg can develop into all cell types with diverse biological functions that make up the body,” says Wang, an assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science within the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “Some of these cells become eggs (in female) and sperm (in male). This fascinating process forms a cycle of life and inspires me to understand how this happens."

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mother pregnent belly

One in ten babies is born prematurely in the United States, but a blood test during a routine prenatal visit could reveal if a woman is at risk of a preterm delivery, according to a Michigan State University researcher.

“Preterm births are common,” said Hanne Hoffmann, an assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “If we know the mother is at risk for a preterm birth, her doctor can monitor her more closely.”

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covid virus

Researchers led by a Michigan State University professor will conduct two studies of whether infection with the COVID-19 virus or vaccination to prevent COVID-19 is affecting the menstrual cycles of women and girls. The studies, funded by the National Institutes of Health, follow anecdotal reports by some women that they had heavier or irregular menstrual cycles after they were infected with the virus or inoculated against it.

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Jenn Watts

The Outstanding Doctoral Student Mentor Award goes to Jennifer Watts in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology.  Ms. Watts’ nomination was supported by faculty, fellow graduate students, and incoming graduate students. She is a valuable colleague and leader to students, peers, faculty and others, and her contributions are wide and deep:  her many contributions to her various communities demonstrate her stated commitment to being the kind of mentor that she wishes she had encountered earlier in her career. As an African American woman in STEM, Jenn has a stated goal of creating a sense of belonging and support and being a leader in this work.  To that end, she has served as a leader and mentor to other students she meets in the AGEP community, to the students she serves in the classroom as a TA, to the students and peers she works alongside in the lab. Her impact is local and international, ranging from MSU’s Undergraduate Mentoring Committee and Girls Math and Science Day to scholarly and research contributions in high-impact journals. With these examples, Jenn demonstrates how to model STEM success in scholarship, teaching, service and mentorship. We are honored to celebrate this impact.  

asgi fazleabas

College of Human Medicine researchers have received a National Institutes of Health grant to study the connection between a gene important for normal cell survival and endometriosis, a painful disease which affects one in 10 women of reproductive age. The disease also has a significant economic impact, estimated at $95 billion annually in the U.S. in lost wages and medical expenses.

The gene called NOTCH1 is “needed for normal reproduction, but when it goes awry it has a significant role in endometriosis,” said Asgi Fazleabas, PhD, a University Distinguished Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology.

Read Full Article on Human Medicine's website

Maria Ariadna

2021 Recipient: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This competition encourages Ph.D. candidates in the department to prepare for future employment through mock job applications and interviews. To be eligible for this award PhD students must have passed their comprehensive examinations and advanced to candidacy.Major professor: Asgerally Fazleabas

Maria Ariadna Ochoa Bernal is a Ph.D. candidate working with Dr. Asgerally Fazleabas. Ariadna’s research is focused on the study of specific hallmarks of endometriosis, particularly on how specific signaling molecules can promote an inflammatory environment, which alters tissue function. Her research has relevance to other diseases, such as endometritis, a major cause of infertility in dairy cattle. In addition to her research, Ariadna is pursuing the Michigan State University Certification in College Teaching. After she completes her graduate program, she would like to pursue her passion of a teaching career in higher education as a University Faculty member.