March 30, 2012

Med Chem Student Named UW Magnuson Scholar

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Eri Nakatani Awarded Magnuson Scholarship

Med Chem graduate student Eri Nakatani (Carlos Catalano lab) has been awarded the prestigious Magnuson Scholarship for 2012. The University names six Magnuson Scholars annually, one from each of the health sciences schools.  Awardees are selected on the basis of academic performance and potential contributions to health sciences research.

As a Magnuson Scholar, Eri will focus on developing therapeutic nanoparticles derived from viral proteins. Her work involves the incorporation of an HIV-1 surface glycoprotein (gp160) into a water soluble, nanoscale lipid bilayer system (nanodiscs), which might someday be useful as an HIV vaccine. The project is a collaborative one involving the Catalano lab, Dr. Shiu-Lok Hu (Pharmaceutics), and Dr. Bill Atkins (Med Chem).

In addition, Eri is working on the thermodynamic characterization of the bacteriophage lambda capsid maturation process in vitro, under the guidance of Dr. Carlos Catalano, and with assistance from Dr. Kelly Lee (Med Chem). “Lambda virus has utility here as a model system for herpes viruses, but we also hope to use it as a platform for the development of targeted nanoparticles for use in therapeutics and/or diagnostics,” Eri said.

“I am so honored to have received this opportunity to take my research to a new level and broaden my scientific horizons,” said Eri. “I look forward to continuing my work on nanoparticle therapeutics and hope to obtain valuable feedback at conferences I might otherwise have been unable to attend.”

Congratulations, Eri!

 

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