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Ankur Jain awarded Packard Foundation Fellowship

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation has actually established that Ankur Jain, Whitehead Institute member and assistant teacher of biology at MIT, has-been named a Packard Fellow for Science and Engineering. The Packard Foundation Fellowships tend to be probably one of the most prestigious and well-funded non-governmental honors for early-career boffins.

Every year, the inspiration attracts 50 university presidents to nominate two early-career teachers each from their establishments; from those 100 nominees, an consultative panel of distinguished experts and engineers find the fellows, whom obtain individual grants of $875,000 over 5 years. The 2019 class includes 22 fellows.

“We tend to be extraordinarily pleased that Ankur has gotten such clear and substantive affirmation of his pioneering analysis from the role that RNAs play in devastating neurological diseases,” says Whitehead Institute Director David C. webpage. “This interesting work is during the forefront of soft-matter physics and mobile biology, and might really start brand new chapters in RNA legislation specifically plus cell biology much more broadly.”

“i will be very grateful the Packard Foundation’s assistance of our continued investigations of how RNA aggregation contributes to disease,” states Jain.

Jain features found that particular RNAs could form aggregates, clumping together into membrane-less gels. This technique, called period separation, is commonly examined in proteins, however in RNA. He’s got discovered that RNA fits in take place in, and might donate to, some neurological circumstances such as for example amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Huntington’s condition. These problems, called perform expansion diseases, tend to be marked by unusual repetition of short sequences of nucleotides, the inspiration of DNA and RNA. The RNAs containing these sequences are more inclined to clump together.

The fellowship will allow Jain to advance their analysis program for this occurrence. “Although it really is well-appreciated that RNA can form aggregates in test pipes, the biological ramifications of the process aren’t yet understood,” he explains. “The award will allow us to look at exactly how RNA aggregates affect cellular purpose and finally play a role in neurological condition.”

Jain joined Whitehead Institute and MIT in 2018, after conducting postdoctoral analysis into the laboratory of Ronald Vale at the University of Ca at san francisco bay area. He obtained a doctorate in biophysics and computational biology at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2013, and obtained his bachelor’s level (with honors) in biotechnology and biochemical manufacturing from Indian Institute of tech Kharagpur in 2007.

Last Packard Fellows have gone to receive a variety of awards, such as the Nobel reward in biochemistry and physics, the areas Medal, the Alan T. Waterman Award, MacArthur Fellowships, and elections into the National Academies. They consist of Frances Arnold, recipient for the 2018 Nobel reward in Chemistry, who chairs the Packard Fellowships Advisory Panel, and Sangeeta Bhatia, the John and Dorthy Wilson Professor of Health Sciences and tech at MIT, that is an associate of all of the three nationwide Academies (science, manufacturing, and medication).