Lynnette Jackson receives National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Award

Lynnette Jackson receives National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Award

Undergraduate student Lynnette Jackson from the Chaput Lab has received the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP) Award.

The NSF GRFP 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. For the 2018 competition, NSF received over 12,000 applications, and made 2,000 award offers.

GRFP provides three years of financial support within a five-year fellowship period — $34,000 annual stipend and $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to the graduate institution. That support is for graduate study that leads to a research-based master’s or doctoral degree in a STEM field.

“This is a well deserved honor,” says John Chaput, Professor of Pharmaceutical sciences. “ It’s been a lot of fun watching Lynnette develop as a scientist and young scholar. I’m very proud of her accomplishments and look forward to what the future will bring.”

Lynnette has been an undergraduate researcher in the Chaput Lab for 2 ½ years and is currently working towards understanding how natural enzymes work with unnatural nucleic acids. These nucleic acids could be used to improve nucleic acid therapies for a variety of diseases. She uses X-ray crystallography to visualize how these enzymes interact with these unnatural substrates. “What I enjoy most about my research is being able to visualize what is happening in our test tubes at the atomic level,” says Lynnette. “I have truly loved my experience at UCI so, after I get my PhD, I plan to pursue a career in academic research.”

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