Featured Young Scientists of the Month – 2018 contests

Thanks to everyone who applied to be Featured Young Scientist of the Month.

The three contests have ended but since they began in September, we received a fantastic response. Indeed, we’ve had a tough job in choosing winners from the hundreds of young scientists who applied around the world. Nonetheless, we are delighted to support 3 impressive young scientists and their outstanding research projects with QIAGEN products worth $1500.

Young Scientist of the Month November

The winner of the third and final contest is Paige Fletcher – a Ph.D. student from the University of Montana. Her research project covers a variety of studies, including pulmonary inflammation, immunology, nanomaterials and nutrition. Paige and her team are investigating the anti-inflammatory effects and mechanisms of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is found in fish oil. DHA has an impact on particle-induced inflammation and has potential as dietary supplement. Paige is looking at both phagolysosomal membrane permeabilization and changes in macrophage phenotype when DHA is present – both before inflammation occurs and after, as a therapeutic treatment.

Congratulations to Paige on winning the final contest – we look forward to hearing more about your work and wish you great success in developing treatments for lung inflammation.

Winning project

Young Scientist of the Month October

We’re very pleased to announce that Mara Sagua is the second winner of the QIAGEN Young Scientist of the Month contest. Mara is working on her PhD thesis at the Laboratory of Limnology (CITNOBA, CONICET-UNNOBA) in Argentina. She’s studying the structure and dynamics of microbial communities in 4 shallow lakes. The lakes – used for recreational activities – are in the upper Salado River basin of Buenos Aires Province. And changes there in agriculture, livestock, urbanization and climate are all having an impact on biodiversity, ecology and human health.

In studying the bacterial community, Mara uses 16S rRNA sequencing for diversity studies, traditional microbiology cultures to get the MPN of total coliforms and E. coli, and real-time PCR with specific primers to detect previously-found bacterial species that pose a health risk (for example, Aeromonas hydrophila, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Salmonella sp., Legionella pneumophila, etc.). With her QIAGEN prize, Mara will have a significant boost for her research project and thesis.

Winning project

Young Scientist of the Month September

We’re happy to announce that Kwabena Owusu-Boateng is our first winner of the QIAGEN Young Scientist of the Month contest. Kwabena is currently a graduate student at WACCBIP, University of Ghana. With his QIAGEN prize, he will continue his study of host-pathogen co-adaptation and pathogen immune evasion mechanisms, as well as protein–protein interactions, that could play a role in the pathogenesis of M. ulcerans – a mycobacterium responsible for “Buruli Ulcer”.

This chronic debilitating disease can result in severe disfigurement and in extreme cases, auto-amputation of limbs. According to the WHO, the disease is on the increase and has been reported in 33 countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Western Pacific. The mode of transmission to humans remains unknown and there is no prevention for the disease.

Winning project
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