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RNA Essay Contest Results and Congratulations

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

The UR Center for RNA Biology offered an exercise during the time when COVID-19 became a sufficient threat to largely shut-down our research enterprise. We’re pleased to announce the winners of the UR’s Center for RNA Biology Essay Contest on “The role of RNA research in community health”. These awards are sponsored by a grant from the RNA Society & Lexogen to the UR Center for RNA Biology, and funds from UR RNA Structure & Function Cluster.

Our Gold prize (~$1,000 value) award goes to Sydney Simpson, an Immunology, Microbiology & Virology graduate student in Steve Dewhurst’s lab in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, for her essay: “Nucleoside Analog Inhibitors: Timeless & Timely Beacons of Hope”.

The Silver Prize (~$250 value) award goes to Omar Hedaya, a Biochemistry & Molecular Biology graduate student in Peng Yao’s lab in the Department of Medicine/Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics, for his essay: “Know the Fundamentals when Seeking the Future”.

Omar Hedaya

Sydney Simpson

Both awardees have become members of the RNA Society and will use their winnings toward technology needs for the upcoming semester.

The RNA Society now features our contest results, including the winning essays, in its latest RNA Salon update: https://www.rnasociety.org/featured-salons, see bullet #3.

We would like to acknowledge Honorable Mentions for the following applicants:

  • Sai Shashank Chavali – Graduate student; Biophysics, Structural & Computational Biology; Wedekind Lab
  • Lily Cisco – Graduate student; Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology; Lueck Lab
  • Gabrielle Kosoy – Graduate student; Biophysics, Structural & Computational Biology; Miller Lab
  • Ashwin Kumar – Graduate student; Biophysics, Structural & Computational Biology; Topham Lab
  • Li Xie – Graduate student; Genetics, Development & Stem Cells; Pröschel Lab

We thank all who participated – and our judges, too!