MCO graduate student Elizabeth May (G4) of the Gaudet Lab has received a fellowship from the Aramont Fund for Emerging Science Research in support of a project called “Molecular Mechanisms for Establishing Neuronal Connectivity.” The Aramont Fund provides funding to researchers across four Harvard schools—the medical school, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, SEAS, and FAS. Only one member of the junior faculty and four graduate students or postdoctoral fellows, one from each school, receive the fellowship each year.
“I’m honored and excited to have my research recognized by the Aramont Fund Award, especially because this funding will allow me to continue exploring new approaches and techniques as part of my project,” May says. “Opportunities to think up creative new experiments and learn new things are among what I enjoy most about science and graduate school.”
May’s advisor and MCB faculty Rachelle Gaudet agrees.“It is fantastic that the Aramont Fund has recognized Elizabeth and her research with this award,” Gaudet says. “Elizabeth’s project makes use of many techniques new to my lab to ask very interesting questions about how neuronal proteins called clustered protocadherins work at the cell membrane. Elizabeth has shown remarkable creativity in her scientific approach and initiative in acquiring the skills and resources to pursue her project, and obtaining this highly competitive funding is bth an example of her initiative and a recognition of her creativity!”
May’s project will investigate the role of the protocadherin protein family’s role in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. Details about her work and the four other awardees’ projects can be found in a Harvard Gazette story.