JXTX Fellowships for GCC2024

The JXTX Foundation generously sponsored 6 fellowships for participating at GCC2024! Complete details about the fellowships area available at the foundation website and below are some details about the 6 outstanding recipients. They will each have a talk or a poster at GCC so make sure to stop by and chat with them about their work.

Shweta PandeyShweta Pandey
CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology (CSIR-IMTECH)
Chandigarh, India

Shweta Pandey is a research scholar at the CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology (CSIR-IMTECH), Chandigarh, India. She has a background in Biotechnology and is currently pursuing her PhD in Bioinformatics with Dr. Anshu Bhardwaj in CSIR-IMTECH. Shweta's research focuses on investigating shared genetic components of comorbidities using data-driven approaches. Shweta has received several awards including the travel grant award from BHU, India, where she presented her work on mitochondria-driven comorbidities. More recently she also received recognition for being in the top three candidates in a bio quiz organized by the Genomics India Conference leading to a waiver on her registration fees. She has also been awarded a research grant towards understanding sleep-related comorbidities in collaboration with clinicians from DST-Chandigarh. She has volunteered at the Good Air Summit in 2019. Shweta was also an ex-HR member of the Aashman Foundation. She is passionate about investigating circadian rhythm-associated comorbidities to gain insights into the underlying mechanisms of genetically associated comorbid conditions. She enjoys coding, experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen, singing her favorite tunes, and immersing herself in nature's beauty.

Natalia Padillo-AnthemidesNatalia Padillo-Anthemides
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL, USA

Natalia is a 2nd year Genetics and Genomics PhD student in the Ryan Lab at University of Florida’s Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience. Leveraging single-cell RNA sequencing while learning from generous online resources like Galaxy Training Single Cell, her project focuses on the genomics of neurons in ctenophores in order to better understand the evolution of nervous systems in animals. Natalia is eager to attend GCC to connect with fellow scholars who share her passion, deepen her understanding of how to translate knowledge into practical tools for research, and cultivate innovative analytical approaches in bioinformatics to tackle the nuanced challenges within her field.

Luca DegradiLuca Degradi
Università degli Studi di Milano
Milano, Italy

Luca Degradi is an Italian researcher and educator who is passionate about molecular biology and bioinformatics. He obtained a Bachelors degree in Agricultural Science and Technology from the Università degli Studi di Milano in 2018. His thesis on GMO perception in Italy reflects his dedication to exploring scientific frontiers and their societal implications. Luca obtained a Masters degree in Biotechnology for the Bioeconomy, achieving an outstanding mark of 110/110 with honors. During his masters, he conducted groundbreaking research on fungal genomics, with a particular focus on Fusarium species, under the guidance of Prof. M. Pasquali. His work led to the publication of several groundbreaking papers, including the first telomere-to- telomere genome assembly of Fusarium musae, a pathogen that affects both bananas and humans. Currently, Luca is pursuing a PhD at the Università degli Studi di Milano, researching Fusarium mycotoxins to improve food safety and quality. He is now working on the genomic differences and possible determinant of human infection in trans-kingdom pathogens like Fusarium sp. His research demonstrates his unwavering commitment to addressing real-world challenges through scientific inquiry. Luca has proficiency in various technical domains, including bioinformatics, genome assembly and annotation, and data science. He is fluent in both Italian and English and contributes to interdisciplinary research with his collaborative spirit and problem-solving skills. Luca is an excellent scientist-educator who blends academic excellence with a profound commitment to societal impact and knowledge dissemination.

Morgan HowellsMorgan Howells
The Open University
Milton Keynes, England

Morgan Howells is a third year BSc student studying Computing & IT at The Open University. He has a passionate interest in deep learning and its application in bioinformatics. His final year project is focusing on leveraging large scale single-cell transcriptomics data to train neural networks for cell type classification. He is also currently engaged in work conducting scRNA-seq analysis to profile and track changes in drug-resistant and sensitive cells within prostate cancer tissues.

Drielli Canal Drielli Canal
Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Porto Alegre, Brazil

Drielli Canal graduated from Federal University of Espírito Santo, Southeast Brazil, in Biological Sciences which enabled her to go into the fields of genetics and plant breeding. Consequently, she did her masters project looking into guava genomics via the use of bioinformatics and molecular analyses. Driven by a passion for species conservation, her Ph.D at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Southern Brazil, focused on investigating the genetic foundations of essential oil biosynthesis in native Brazilian species. During the PhD, she spent 6 months at Cardiff University in Wales, enhancing the knowledge in gene cloning and enzymatic assays. Currently, Drielli is working as a guest researcher at the State University of Campinas, São Paulo, studying an Amazonian ground-herb which is adapted to water flooded environments by looking into its genomic regulation in a flooding gradient.

Ahmad Azani OthmanAhmad Azani Othman
Universiti Teknologi MARA
Shah Alam, Malaysia

Ahmad Azani Othman, currently in his second year of PhD studies in molecular microbiology at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Malaysia, is deeply immersed in the fascinating world of microbial diversity. His research project centers around the external and internal (gut) microbiome of blowflies collected from both Malaysia’s pristine reserve forests and bustling urban areas. By employing a metagenomic approach (specifically, 16S rRNA sequencing), Ahmad aims to compare the biodiversity and intricate interplay between blowflies and bacterial populations.

His academic journey has been rich and diverse. He holds a Master of Science degree in Molecular Medical Microbiology from The University of Nottingham and earned his Bachelor of Science with honors from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (National University of Malaysia). Prior to his PhD studies, Ahmad served as a microbiologist at the National Blood Centre in Kuala Lumpur for six years. During this time, he led efforts in screening for pathogens related to transfusion-transmitted infections using serology and multiplex PCR techniques.

Ahmad’s aspirations extend beyond the lab. He seeks to deepen his understanding of genomic data analysis, particularly leveraging the Galaxy platform, and acquire new skills and knowledge that will enhance his future research endeavors. Networking with fellow researchers and attending training sessions and workshops are also high on his agenda. Ahmad Azani Othman’s dedication to unraveling the mysteries of microbial communities associated with blowflies and his commitment to advancing scientific knowledge make him an asset to the field of molecular microbiology.

Shweta PandeyShweta Pandey
CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology (CSIR-IMTECH)
Chandigarh, India