MCB Faculty Amanda Whipple has been chosen to become 2020 George W. Merck Fellow. Named in honor of the pharmaceutical magnate, George W. Merck Fellowships are designed to address the funding needs of “rising stars in biology.” Each recipient receives $460,000 over two years to pay researchers’ salaries and cover the cost of experiments.
“I’m excited to receive this fellowship because it will allow us to start on a new research area in our lab,” Whipple says. “With this award, we will begin to ask questions about differences in the 3D folding of the two parental genomes within brain cells of offspring. In other words, we want to know how maternally inherited chromosomes may have a different structure than paternally inherited chromosomes in some key gene regions and what effect this has on gene expression in neurons.”
To help with the genome folding project, the Whipple lab is recruiting researchers with backgrounds in molecular biology, neurobiology, and computational biology to join their team. More information can be found on their lab website.
Past recipients of the George W. Merck Fellowship include MCB faculty Doeke Hekstra, Karine Gibbs, and Victoria D’Souza.
Whipple adds, “I want to sincerely thank the faculty committee who recommended me; it is a real blessing to be selected.”