Dona Ferdinando (left) in the biological sciences teaching lab
Dona Ferdinando (left) in the biological sciences teaching lab

Bio Sci grad receives CMU research award

Dona Ferdinando, a 2020 CMU-Q graduate in Biological Sciences, was awarded the Elizabeth W. Jones Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research in Experimental or Computational Biology. The award was given by the Department of Biological Sciences at Carnegie Mellon’s home campus in Pittsburgh.

Ferdinando was one of two recipients of the award for 2020, and the first ever recipient from the Qatar campus.

“I am so humbled by this award, and very honored to receive it,” said Ferdinando. “I am also glad that other biological sciences students will now know that this award exists, and it will inspire them to focus on research.”

Ferdinando has embraced research opportunities since her first semester at CMU-Q. For two years she worked in the lab of Annette Vincent, associate teaching professor of biological sciences, and she was a member of the student team that created a screening kit for genetic disease carriers for the 2019 International Genetically Engineered Machines (IGEM) competition held in Boston. In May 2020, she successfully defended her senior honors thesis titled, “Optimizing phage therapy to deliver a CRISPR cas system to disrupt kanamycin resistance in Mycobacterium.”

“The program at Carnegie Mellon fosters curiosity. At times, research can seem slow or frustrating, but the people around you are motivating and you soon find new paths to discover,” she said.

Ferdinando is now planning to do a graduate program in the field of public health research.

The Elizabeth W. Jones Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research in Experimental or Computational Biology is given to honor the research efforts of talented and dedicated undergraduates over their years at Carnegie Mellon.

 

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