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Freshman Research Initiative Alumna Awarded Prestigious HHMI Fellowship

Freshman Research Initiative Alumna Awarded Prestigious HHMI Fellowship
Alumna Lynne Chantranupong was named as one of the inaugural Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) 2017 Hanna H. Gray Fellows.

UT Austin alumna Lynne Chantranupong —currently a postdoctoral research fellow in neurobiology at Harvard Medical School—was named as one of the inaugural Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) 2017 Hanna H. Gray Fellows. HHMI is an early-career science award providing up to $1.4 million in financial support, mentoring, and active involvement within the HHMI community during early postdoctoral training through several years of a tenure-track faculty position.

Chantranupong (B.S., Biology, '10) was a 2008 Beckman Scholar and one of the original mentors for the Virology Research Stream (currently inactive) in the Freshman Research Initiative program. She also worked as an undergraduate researcher in Professor George Georgiou's protein therapeutics and applied immunology laboratory. She was a coauthor of several research publications at UT Austin and went on to receive a Ph.D. in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

What research are you working on now that you are most excited about? 

I'm using biochemical approaches to try to uncover the diversity with which neurons communicate with one another in the brain. I'm excited to delve into a system and field that I've never explored before and learn more about how our brain functions! 

How do you think your involvement in the FRI program has helped you to achieve your research accomplishments? 

As an FRI mentor, I learned how to better engage and guide others in research and the importance of training new scientists. Over the years in graduate school, I built upon what I've learned through FRI with each of the mentees that I had the opportunity to work with. 

What was your favorite FRI experience? 

There wasn't one experience in particular. What I enjoyed most was getting to interact with and help students in the program, and seeing the excitement that others have doing research. 

Do you have any advice for FRI students? 

Research can at times be tough, and a project can have its ups and downs. You have to persevere through this and learn from any challenges you face. Being a part of FRI, combined with my experiences working in the lab, has helped to expose me to these challenges and mature as a scientist.

Biology is so vast, and there are many interesting avenues to explore. Don't be afraid to try out new fields to figure out what captures your interests. The most important thing is that you stay passionate and curious about you do! 

Interviewed by Elizabeth Ilardi, Texas Institute for Discovery Education in Science

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Friday, 27 January 2023

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