Congratulations Chase KelleY, NSF GrFP Recipient

Second-year Genetics and Genomics PhD Student, Chase Kelley, has been selected as a recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program. The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.

Kelley previously studied chemical engineering and physics at Northeastern University in the Department of Chemical Engineering. He currently works in Eric Wang’s lab in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology.

“Eric's lab focuses on the fundamentals of RNA localization and RNA processing, and how problems with these processes can lead to disease,” Kelley said. “Specifically, Eric's lab studies how repeat expansion diseases (especially myotonic dystrophy type 1) arise, how the molecular mechanisms of these diseases work, and how to develop novel treatment options. The work that I proposed for this fellowship centered on understanding which repeat sequences in the genome are capable of expansion and what the rules are that regulate that process.”

The GRFP is the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind and has a long history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers. Kelley stated that he is hopeful that this fellowship and all it provides will help his career moving forward.

“Receiving the NSF GRFP is a nationally recognized credential in academic research, which will hopefully set me apart when I begin the job search after graduate school,” Kelley said. “I plan to enter the startup biotechnology industry after graduation. I have enjoyed my experiences in industry research prior to graduate school, and I see myself fitting well in that setting. I like the startup community's drive to push science and engineering to new heights and to apply cutting edge technologies to develop new treatments for disease.”

Kelley expressed his gratitude for the Genetics & Genomics Graduate Program and the many opportunities it has provided him with.

“The G&G program is the culmination of my gradual career shift from chemical engineering to biological research, Kelley said. “I am so grateful to be a part of the UFGI community with such a diverse and successful group of scientists across a wide array of fields. The institute, graduate program, and Wang lab constantly inspire me to do my best work and to pursue opportunities for career development.”