With over 12,000 applicants and only 2,000 awardees, the NSF GRFP is a highly competitive fellowship that tries to fund the next generation of innovative scientists who have demonstrated their likeliness of having a significant impact in their field and whom have demonstrated excellence in broad community service.
Oriana wrote her proposal on elucidating the biochemical function of two conserved domains within DOCK7, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF). DOCK7 is traditionally classified as a Cdc42/Rac GEF2, belongs to the Dock (Dedicator of Cytokinesis) family of GEFs and contains two evolutionarily conserved domains, DHR1 (a putative lipid binding domain3)and DHR2 (Cdc42/RacGEF2). Previous studies in the Cerione laboratory showed thatDock7 is essential for the transformation of HeLa cervical carcinoma cells. Furthermore, both Dock7 domains were able to restore the transformative properties of HeLa cells as well asthe phosphorylation of S6 kinase, a key downstream effector of mTORC1, after the knock-down of Dock7. She will set out to establish the importance of these two functionally distinct domains of Dock7 as they relate to mTORC1/Rheb signaling.
The lab is proud of her accomplishments! We are delighted to have such brilliant, talented students like Oriana in our team. Congratulations!
To learn more about the NSF GRFP please follow the link here (will open new window)