Each year, the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) recognizes outstanding students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees. This fellowship is the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind. Recipients of the fellowship are chosen from a competitive application process that takes into consideration both Intellectual Merit and Broader Impact. This year, CMMB Ph.D. student Lauren Hammond was recognized with an honorable mention for the 2020 NSF GRFP which is considered a significant national achievement. Under the direction of Dr. Prahathees Eswara, Lauren is investigating the molecular mechanisms regulating bacterial cell division in Staphylococcus aureus. More specifically, she is working with GpsB, a conserved cell division protein, to determine its structure and key functional residues, to identify novel interaction partners, and to elucidate the role of GpsB phosphorylation. In addition, she is also working to identify antimicrobial compounds capable of targeting this essential cell process. Outside of research, Lauren is passionate about science outreach. She is particularly interested in fostering a love of science within a new generation of students through community involvement and mentoring opportunities.
CMMB graduate student, Robert Scharping, was recently awarded a postdoctoral scholar position at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Robert will be working with advisors who have expertise in deep sea microbiology, groundwater geochemistry, and cave ecology. His primary research focus will investigate how underground ecosystems regulate nutrient exports from aquifers to coastal marine environments. Congratualtions Dr. Scharping!
Nine University of South Florida faculty members, including the deans of two USF colleges, have been named new fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The honor, announced today, November 26, 2019 is one of the most prestigious among academic researchers worldwide. AAAS is the world’s largest scientific society, recognizing research and scholarly excellence in fields ranging from engineering to health sciences. The group of nine from USF are part of a class of nearly 450 faculty members nationwide selected as AAAS Fellows by their peers. This class brings the total number of USF AAAS Fellows to 73.
Dr. Shaw was Elected AAAS Fellow in the Biological Sciences Section
"For distinguished advances in understanding mechanisms of pathogenesis in drug-resistant bacteria, particularly for defining hierarchical control of disease progression in MRSA and developing antibacterial agents."
Lindsey N. Shaw, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology, and holds joint appointments in the departments of Infectious Disease and Global Health. Dr. Shaw’s research focuses on the pathogenic and drug resistance mechanisms of antibiotic resistant bacteria, with a primary focus on Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and the other ESKAPE pathogens. He has made significant advances in defining the regulatory processes ongoing within bacteria cells that contribute to virulence factor expression and the progression of disease.
His groundbreaking discovery of secreted protease as a key mediator of MRSA pathogenic potential was a turning point in the field as it identified a key node of control that governs the infectious process. In the area of therapeutic development, Dr. Shaw was part of a team that isolated and identified a new chemical, Darwinolide, which eliminates more than 98 percent of MRSA cells growing within a biofilm. He is also amongst the small percentage of NIH awardees who have been a Principal Investigator on an R01 grant before the age of 36. Dr. Shaw received a B.Sc. with honors from the University of East Anglia (U.K.) and a Ph.D. from the University of Sheffield (U.K.).
“We are incredibly proud of the talented and highly-accomplished individuals from USF selected for the 2019 class of AAAS Fellows,” said Dr. Paul Sanberg, the university’s senior vice president for research, innovation and knowledge enterprise. “These individuals not only lead their respective fields on a national and global level, but are a guiding force here at USF as we continue to rise in the ranks of America’s great research universities.”