The Department of Biology is excited to announce the two recipients of this year’s Dr. Marion R. Kramer Scholarships: Hannah Aichelman of the Davies Lab and Nahomie Rodriguez-Sastre of the Bradham Lab.

Hannah Aichelman uses physiological and molecular tools to understand how both temperate and tropical coral species persist in the face of global change. Her dissertation research is focused on disentangling the distinct responses of the coral host and its endosymbiotic algae to temperature stress.
Nahomie Rodriguez-Sastre aims to understand how EtOH treatment affects the skeletal patterning process in the sea urchin larva. The sea urchin larval skeleton offers a simple patterning system since it involves only two cell types: the mesenchymal cells that secrete the calcium carbonate skeleton, and the ectodermal cells that provide migratory and differentiation cues for the mesenchymal cells. The Bradham Lab has found that treatment with ethanol induces broad patterning defects, including rotational defects. PMC ingression, migration, and gene expression are also perturbed by EtOH treatment. By performing a series of transplants, the lab has shown that EtOH-provoked defects are ectodermal, consistent with perturbation of patterning cues. Overall, the findings indicate that EtOH provokes a complex suite of effects that collectively impact patterning. The results are consistent with a complex, multi-pathway mechanism for ethanol-mediated skeletal perturbation.

This award provides support for high-achieving female students majoring in Biology. The award was established in 2001 in honor of Dr. Marion Kramer who earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Boston University in 1963 and went on to a long and satisfying career in biology and medicine.

The Department of Biology gives this award to graduate students in the spring, and to undergraduate students in the fall. Read about our Fall 2021 undergraduate recipients here.

Congratulations, Hannah and Nahomie!