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Anna Goldkamp (left) and Deepali Luthra

Two OSU students win Otto S. Cox Graduate Fellowships

Friday, September 17, 2021

Media Contact: Harrison Hill | Research Communications Specialist | 405-744-5827 | harrison.c.hill@Okstate.edu

At Oklahoma State University, the Otto S. Cox Graduate Fellowship for Genetic Research helps students stand out in the field of genetics research.

Students earn the annual fellowship by showcasing proven records of genetic inquiry and the potential to impact the discipline in the future.

This year, two OSU students won the fellowship, which provides a $1,000 stipend and recognition for pursuing challenging work in a rapidly evolving and critical research area.

“This past year and a half has brought a keen societal awareness regarding the importance of cutting-edge genetic and genomic knowledge, techniques, and technologies,” said OSU Vice President for Research Dr. Kenneth Sewell. “Whether they will devote their lives to understanding viruses, genetic diseases, personalized medicine or some other focus within the field, the Cox Fellowship accelerates the careers of the selected students, thus benefiting society with the fruits of their expertise.”

This Year's Recipients:

  • Anna Goldkamp, a doctoral student studying molecular genetics in animal science.
  • Deepali Luthra, a doctoral student studying microbiology and molecular genetics.

Goldkamp, from St. Louis, Missouri, is focused on how the rate of protein translation impacts economically important traits in livestock.

“So far, my work has shown that genetic mutations we thought were insignificant may impact these traits,” she said.
Goldkamp is investigating how tRNA abundance can act as a source of genetic variation. The abundance of each tRNA can dictate the speed of translation and control protein content in a cell.

“It is deeply rewarding to know that I can contribute to knowledge through my research,” she said.

Goldkamp plans to use this award for travel and registration expenses for scientific conferences.

“One of my greatest opportunities for growth as a researcher is to develop relationships with my peers, exchange ideas and express the importance of my work through conferences,” she said.

Deepali Luthra works on Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a multidrug-resistant opportunistic bacterial pathogen that causes life-threatening infections in patients suffering from cystic fibrosis.

“My research focuses on understanding the role of calcium in the pathogenesis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and investigating how it leads to enhanced virulence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and its infection with epithelial cells at a cellular level,” Luthra said.

Luthra, from Ludhiana, India, says that she has been interested in research since an early age, especially pathogens and disease.

“Being here and researching to unravel the mysteries of host-pathogen interactions stimulates curiosity to understand the intricate pathogenesis of this disease,” she added.

For Luthra, this award means financial stability in her research and provides acknowledgment for the work she is doing.

“This is challenging genetic research and acknowledgement like this strengthens my potential for future post-doctoral job applications in the field of genetics and microbiology,” she said.

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