Saturday, April 29, 2017

Tara K. Telford Graduate Student Award 2016-2017

The 2016-2017 UC Davis Tara K. Telford Graduate Student Award went to a very lovely young man pursuing a Ph. D. in Chemistry at UC Davis named Jackson. Below is a short biography he wrote about himself:

"I grew up in poverty in a single parent home in Oakland, one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. I needed to take student loans every year to support me and my dad for the past eight years. Due to the strong financial position that Telford award put me in, this is the first year ever that I was able to 'decline' my student loan package. To be recognized with this fellowship at such an early stage of my own doctoral training means a great deal. 

Thank you for believing in me!"

Here is a brief summary of Jackson's research:

Jackson has continued his research in the lab of Dr. Kurth, where the research focus is on cystic fibrosis (CF) a highly lethal genetic disease affecting about 70,000 individuals worldwide, with about 1,000 new diagnoses per year. CF is caused by the misfolding of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), a transmembrane protein ion channel responsible for the transportation of chloride ions. This misfolding is due to mutations to the CFTR gene alleles, and the most common mutation is a single codon deletion, F508_del. CF causes a thick buildup of mucus on the lungs and causes them to be inflamed due to reduced airway surface liquids (ASL), and some opportunistic pathogens thrive in this type of environment - bacterial infection is one of the main causes of death among CF patients. 

Jackson's research focuses on a protein ion channel called pendrin (PDS). The reduced activity of this protein is associated with reduced lung inflammation, pathology and hyperreactivity. Furthermore, inhibition of this protein increases the ASL volume by a significant amount.  Through the potent molecules and chemical probes Jackson developed for these protein targets, he wants to bring hope to the community by showcasing the active research related to these rare diseases. 

The above information was provided by UC Davis at the annual luncheon with the award winning graduate student in Dr. Mark Kurth's chemistry laboratory. 

If you would like to donate to the Tara K. Telford Graduate Student Award please visit this link:

If you would prefer to send a check please click here, and scroll down to the second page. 

Thank you to all my friends, family, and friends of friends that continue to support CF research year after year!