Mower Scholarship and Fellowship

2020 Mower Scholar: Asha Philip

Asha Philip is a third-year Ph.D student in the laboratory of Professor John T. Patton. Asha has spearheaded the development of the rotavirus reverse genetics system in the laboratory. Her thesis project is to use this system to generate and characterize recombinant rotavirus strains that express foreign proteins including norovirus capsid proteins and coronavirus spike proteins. In her recent papers, Asha showed that NSP3 gene of rotavirus is very flexible and can be re-engineered to express fluorescent proteins as additional separate proteins, without compromising any rotaviral proteins.

During her spare time, Asha enjoys creating YouTube videos on academic and scientific topics.

This award will support Asha as she explores her next project on development of rotavirus-norovirus dual vaccine and rotavirus-COVID19 dual vaccine for infants and young children.

2020 Mower Scholar: Rebecca McAvoy

Rebecca McAvoy is a biology and neuroscience major conducting research in Professor Dan Tracey's laboratory. As members of the IU research programs IFLE and STARS, she researches under the mentorship of Dr. Stephanie Mauthner (associate scientist in the Tracey lab) the molecular mechanisms that allow glia to contribute to behavior. Her research has received funding through the Hutton Honors College Research Partnership Grant and Drs. Sidney and Becca Fleischer Research Scholarship. Rebecca also spends time volunteering at the WonderLab Museum of Science, Health & Technology and teaching students as an undergraduate teaching assistant. Rebecca plans on attending graduate school to pursue a Ph.D. in a biology or neuroscience field and a career as a research scientist studying the molecular mechanisms of behavior.