13 honored in postdoc research symposium

By Aline McKenzie

May 2010

Postdoctoral scholars and faculty mentors were recognized for excellence in research and leadership during the recent Seventh Annual Postdoctoral Research Symposium.

The event, sponsored by the Postdoctoral Association at UT Southwestern and
UT Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, included a five-day poster session with judging by faculty members and a lecture by Dr. Huda Zoghbi, professor of pediatrics, neurology, neuroscience and molecular and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Dr. Lit-Hsin Loo (left) receives an Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Research from Dr. Joel Goodman, professor of pharmacology.

The awardees were:

Dr. Lit-Hsin Loo, postdoctoral researcher in pharmacology and in the Cecil H. and Ida Green Comprehensive Center for Molecular, Computational and Systems Biology, for Excellence in Postdoctoral Research; and

Dr. David Corey, professor of pharmacology, and Dr. Gang Yu, associate professor of neuroscience, for Excellence in Postdoctoral Mentoring.

In addition, Dr. Brenda Timmons, research scientist and former postdoctoral researcher in obstetrics and gynecology, received a Distinguished Service Award.

In the poster session, grand prize winners were:

Dr. Thomas Scheuermann, instructor of biochemistry, “Structure and Artificial Ligand Binding Within the HIF2 Transcription Factor”;

Dr. Zhigao Wang, Howard Hughes Medical Institute postdoctoral researcher in biochemistry, “Pave the Necrotic Pathway with Chemical Compounds”; and

Dr. Mei Xin, postdoctoral researcher in molecular biology, “MicroRNA-143 and -145 Modulate Cytoskeletal Dynamics and Responsiveness of Smooth Muscle Cells to Injury.”

Meritorious research prize winners in the poster session were:

Dr. Madhusudhan Budatha, postdoctoral researcher in molecular biology, “Implications of Assembly and Degradation of Elastic Fibers in Progression of Pelvic Organ Prolapse: Role of Fibulin-5 RGD Motif”

Dr. Daniel Dries, postdoctoral researcher in neuroscience, “Glu-133 of Nicastrin Directly Participates in Gamma-Secretase Activity”;

Dr. Walraj Gosal, assistant instructor of pharmacology, “Deciphering Evolutionary Instructions for Specifying Protein Fold and Function”;

Dr. Da Jia, postdoctoral researcher in biochemistry, “A Novel Multi-Protein Complex Inhibits the Actin Regulator WASH”;

Dr. Shijie Li, postdoctoral researcher in molecular genetics, “Bifurcation of Insulin Signaling Pathway in Rat Liver: Mtorc1 Required for Stimulation of Lipogenesis, But Not Inhibition of Gluconeogenesis”; and

Dr. Sheila Alcantara Llaguno, postdoctoral researcher in developmental biology, “Neural Stem Cells and Lineage-Restricted Progenitor Cells Can Initiate Malignant Astrocytoma Formation in Somatic Tumor Suppression Mouse Models.”