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Ya-Shiuan Lai wins 2019 Kende Award

Ya-Shiuan Lai is the recipient of the 2019 Kende Award, which recognizes the best doctoral dissertation in the plant sciences at Michigan State University (MSU) over the last two years.

In addition to winning a monetary award, Ya-Shiuan, a former member in the lab of Federica Brandizzi at the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory (PRL), presented a research seminar on October 14, 2019. The award recognized her PhD thesis work on the mechanism of unfolded protein response signaling in plants.

"It is a great honor for me to win this award which recognizes my signature work during my PhD career,” Ya-Shiuan says. “I would like to share this honor with the members of the Brandizzi lab. Throughout my graduate studies, I had great support from my advisor, Dr. Brandizzi, and engaged in fruitful collaborations from my colleagues. In addition, given the PRL’s open and interactive atmosphere with plenty of resources, my scientific thinking and logicism were constantly trained and helped advance my career to the next level.”

Ya-Shiuan and PRL Director, Christoph Benning
Ya-Shiuan receiving her award from MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory director, Christoph Benning.
By Igor Houwat, MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory, 2019

“I am so proud of Ya-Shiuan’s academic achievements during her PhD in my lab,” Federica Brandizzi adds. “She is the human incarnation of strength, stamina and high intellect.”

Ya-Shiuan obtained a M.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from National Central University, Taiwan and a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Michigan State University. Currently, she is a postdoctoral fellow in the biology department at the University of California, San Diego.

“For my postdoctoral training under Dr. Maho Niwa, I will build on my previous training in signal transduction by moving into yeast and mammalian systems. This shift will allow me to address additional questions regarding the effects of endoplasmic reticulum stress in eukaryotic cell cycle progression and human neurodegenerative disease.”


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