Chow Receives NIH Pre-Doctoral Fellowship

in Front Page, Graduate
October 11th, 2013

Jennifer Chow

Jennifer Chow

Jennifer Chow, a third-year graduate student in the group of Professor Adrian Whitty, has received an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA).  Jennifer received the award for her initial submission, which is a singular honor given how competitive this award is each year.  Jennifer will receive 4 years of support to pursue her project, “Activation and Signaling Mechanism of the RET Tyrosine Kinase Receptor.”

The goal of Jennifer’s project is to develop a system using Forster resonance energy transfer (FRET) to understand the changes that occur upon binding of ligand to growth factor receptors. Aim 1 will develop the FRET constructs, which will be used in Aim 2 to investigate the mechanism of RET (REarranged during Transfection receptor) activation in cell culture. In Aim 3, potential crosstalk between the RET and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) pathways will be investigated.  The research will aid in the physical understanding of growth factor (GF) receptor activation and how aberrant GF receptor signaling in cancer might be therapeutically modulated.

Jennifer received her undergraduate degree from San Francisco State University (CA) and worked at an academic lab for three years after graduation. She came to BU in 2011 and joined Prof. Whitty’s research laboratory, which focuses on quantitative approaches to various fields of chemical biology.  In addition to her research, Jennifer is currently the president of the Chemistry Department’s student organization, BUYCC.