Three Medical Science Training Program (MSTP) students, Ryan Mulligan, Gustavo Pacheco, and Evan Lamb, were awarded prestigious F30 fellowships from the National Institutes of Health, totaling $446,595 this fiscal year.
The F30 National Research Service Awards Fellowships help support trainees during their last one or two years of their PhD and for an equivalent amount of time in their clinical clerkship training. The awards are highly selective, which attests to the research success and talent of these students and their faculty mentors.
Ryan, Gustavo, and Evan join eight other F30 and two American Heart Association fellowship awardees in the current cohort of MSTP trainees.
More About the Awardees
Ryan Mulligan: Lab of Bettina Winckler, PhD
F30 Project Title: “Effects of Aging on Neuronal Lysosomal Damage Responses Driven by CMT2B-linked Rab7”
Ryan’s project broadly explores the molecular machinery by which cells respond to lysosomal stresses, especially in diseases that affect the nervous system. His F30 grant is specifically looking at how these lysosomal stress responses may be impacted within the cells of our brains as we age.
Ryan says it is the people that drew him to the UVA MSTP. “Everyone I met throughout the interview process at UVA was kind, supportive and collaborative. I saw myself able to succeed in the UVA environment,” shared Ryan. In the future, Ryan plans to pursue a career in pediatrics and neurology, but is keeping an open mind as he completes his last two years of medical school.
Ryan stays busy outside of the lab spending time with his wife, Caroline, and his cat, Sylvia. He and Caroline enjoy hiking, concerts, and intramural sports.
Gustavo Pacheco: Lab of Doug DeSimone, PhD
F30 Project Title: “Localized Mitochondrial Metabolic Activity in Xenopus Mesendoderm Cells Undergoing Collective Cell Migration”
Gustavo’s research focuses on integrin proteins — the glue between cells and their surrounding physical environment, called the extracellular matrix. Through his thesis work in the DeSimone Lab, he has discovered and demonstrated a new function of integrin proteins as regulators of metabolism.
Gustavo grew up in a first-generation Mexican-American family in Bethesda, Maryland, which is also the home of the National Institutes of Health. His exposure to physician-scientists at a young age motivated him in his career path. “I was inspired by their devotion to rigorous scientific investigation in pursuit of providing the hope of a healthy life for patients,” said Gustavo. His ultimate career goal is to pursue a tenure-track basic science career as a physician-scientist.
In his free time, Gustavo and his wife, Christina, enjoy exploring Charlottesville and Shenandoah Valley wineries, learning about the rich vineyard culture and quality wines in the region.
Evan Lamb: Lab of Alison Criss, PhD
F30 Project Title: “Defining Mechanisms of Complement-Mediated Killing of Neisseria Gonorrhoeae”
Evan is investigating how the complement cascade of the innate immune system combats antibiotic-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae. His goal is to characterize the underlying biology of complement-mediated bactericidal activity and to inform future therapeutic/diagnostic modalities.
After his training, Evan aspires to conduct rigorous science with direct translational potential to improve patient health outcomes in the fields of immunology and infectious diseases.
When he’s not in the lab, Evan spends some of his downtime cooking new recipes and gardening, sharing that he is a “proud plant dad!”