When I started graduate school a couple of summers ago, I was thinking a lot about how I was going to start off on the right foot and be a successful grad student (like most grad students do). One aspect that I knew was important was attempting to secure my own funding. I knew it was important, but I did not know the best way to go about it. I had information for student specific training grants, but I was not able to apply for those until I was done with my lab rotations. Instead of waiting to be done with my rotations, I wanted to get active right away, but I did not know how. Luckily a friend told me about two big national fellowships that I might be interested in. These fellowships were the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) and the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship.
These fellowships are ideal for new graduate students because they can apply during their lab rotations (the fellowships are specifically for new graduate students). I was fortunate to hear about these fellowships shortly after I started grad school, and was additionally very fortunate to be awarded the NDSEG fellowship. Because I know many students don't know about these fellowships, I want to spread the word and offer whatever insight I can think of. The following are some points I think are useful to think about when preparing the applications, and especially when writing the personal statements.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Friday, July 5, 2013
Antibiotics have been, and continue to be, a cornerstone of modern medicine. Unfortunately, their widespread use has not come without cost. The use of antibiotics has continued to result in an increased prevalence of antibiotic resistant bacteria, a problem that was even recognized by Alexander Fleming following his discovery of Penicillin [1, 2]. Presently we do have some understanding of how antibiotic resistance is propagated throughout bacterial populations, such as through mutations that prevent antibiotic efficacy, and through antibiotic driven selection for antibiotic resistant bacteria. In addition to these mechanisms for the propagation of antibiotic resistance, there are also less well characterized means through which antibiotic resistance is spread through bacterial populations. One of these mechanisms is through bacteriophages, which have been shown to mediate transfer of bacterial genes, especially when their hosts are stressed by antibiotics (this often occurs when prophages are induced in response to antibiotics, a process that results gene transduction).