Two UAB graduate students selected for prestigious Alabama EPSCoR Graduate Research Scholars Program

Two University of Alabama at Birmingham graduate students were recently awarded Alabama EPSCoR Graduate Research Scholars Program awards.

TCTanvir ChowdhuryTwo University of Alabama at Birmingham graduate students in the Department of Chemistry and Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering were recently selected for the Alabama Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research Graduate Research Scholars Program.

As GRSP fellows, chemistry Ph.D. student Tanvir Chowdhury and materials engineering Ph.D. student Chandrima Karthik will gain access to valuable professional development opportunities and will join a network of talented graduate students and faculty across Alabama’s leading research universities.

Awarded $25,000 each for one year, Chowdhury and Karthik will receive funding to enhance their graduate research capacity for the next academic school year.

Chowdhury, a student in the lab of Hui-Ting Lee, Ph.D., focuses his research on the regulatory role of Telomeric repeat-containing RNA, known as TERRA (a non-coding RNA) in genome stability and in regulation of gene expression. 

“It feels great to be selected for this highly competitive and prestigious fellowship,” said Chowdhury, a Bangladesh native. “UAB has provided me with the collaborative and interdisciplinary environment that allows me to use the core facility for different experiments, which helped me to generate preliminary results that I used to write my research proposal for this fellowship.”

CK Chandrima Karthik
Photo credit: Prince K. Rajan
Karthik, a native of Kerala, India, says this opportunity is an incredible honor for her and she is grateful to UAB and her mentor Vinoy Thomas, Ph.D., for being sources of inspiration and direction.

“The mentorship, research experience and community at UAB have been instrumental in preparing me for success in the GRSP,” Karthik said. “For example, mentoring high school students in the CORD program and my experience as a UAB Blazer fellow have helped develop my leadership skills and engage with the broader Birmingham community.”

Karthik’s research will aim to develop highly stable biopolymeric scaffolds and films for chronic wound healing applications with an emphasis on the investigation of their mechanical stability and biocompatibility.

EPSCoR was established in 1979 by the National Science Foundation to help better distribute federal research grants. Established by the Alabama Legislature in 2006, the ALEPSCoR GRSP focuses on the retention and development of future science and engineering professionals to promote research and industry growth throughout Alabama. 

For more information on Alabama EPSCoR, click here.