DeSimone and Peirce-Cottler Labs Mentor Undergraduates Who Receive UVA Office of Citizen Scholar Development Awards

March 20, 2024 by

DeSimone and Peirce-Cottler Lab members UVA

Front row: Doug DeSimone, Dori Beck, and Wakako Endo. Back row: Tien Comlekoglu, Shayn Peirce-Cottler, and Gustavo Pacheco

Undergraduate students, Wakako Endo in the DeSimone lab and Dori Beck in the Peirce-Cottler and DeSimone labs, have received UVA Office of Citizen Scholar Development Awards for their research and ongoing investigations under the mentorship of the lab principal investigators and MSTP students Gustavo Pacheco and Tien Comlekoglu.

Wakako Endo received the Double Hoo Research Grant. The Endo-Pacheco team has discovered a novel mechanism for the regulation of metabolism in our bodies. They have discovered that when cells interact with their physical environment (i.e. extracellular matrix) they increase their cellular energy production to fuel their movement.

Dori Beck was awarded a Harrison Undergraduate Research Award for her research proposal regarding quantifying contractile forces that drive tissue movements during embryonic development. She is applying innovative microfabrication techniques to build and analyze novel hydrogel structures to quantify forces generated by developmental tissues.

These prestigious and competitive undergraduate research awards are an indication of the exciting and innovative research happening in the DeSimone and Peirce-Cottler labs. It is especially noteworthy that two students from the same lab received citizen scholar awards in the same year.

Congratulations to Doug DeSimone, PhD, in the Department of Cell Biology and Shayn Peirce-Cottler, PhD, in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, and their labs for the great work mentoring Wakako and Dori. The exceptional research, guidance and collaboration is preparing Wakako and Dori for exciting futures as physician-scientists.



Filed Under: Honors & Awards, Research