Indiana life sciences organization honors 8 Purdue researchers

BioCrossroads, a public-private initiative to grow life sciences in Indiana, has honored four Purdue University researchers with its inaugural 23 PAIR (Promising Achievers in Innovation and Research) award and recognized an additional four researchers with a 23 PAIR Fellow award. Award winners have exhibited significant industry or academic impact and success and are in the early stages of their careers.

“People are such a critical component of Indiana’s life sciences industry, and we’re thrilled to recognize some incredibly talented Hoosiers for their work,” said Lori LeRoy, executive vice president of communications for BioCrossroads. “Our inaugural group of winners is already making their marks in the life sciences industry, whether it’s directing clinical trials, performing groundbreaking research, communicating information, developing IT protocols or analyzing data.”

Purdue’s 23 PAIR award winners are:

Ying Li, assistant professor of horticulture (College of Agriculture), who studies how crop metabolic networks respond to environmental and developmental stimuli at transcriptional and chromatin levels.

Lauren Ann Metskas, assistant professor of biological sciences and chemistry (College of Science), with a research focus in protein ultrastructures involved in virus-host interaction and bacterial microcompartment function.

Hui-Hui Wang, associate professor of agricultural sciences education and communication (College of Education), whose work focuses on STEM integration through agriculture, food and nature resources.

Yang Yang, assistant professor of medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology (College of Pharmacy), whose research seeks to understand the mechanism for genetic neurological diseases including autism, epilepsy, pain and dementia and to advance pharmacogenomic approaches for disease intervention.

Purdue 23 Pair fellows are:

Andrea Kasinski, associate professor of biological sciences (College of Science), who researches the molecular contribution of noncoding RNAs (microRNAs, lncRNA, circRNAs) in normal and disease cells and seeks to capitalize on this knowledge through developing RNA-based therapeutics.

Stephen Lindemann, associate professor of food science (College of Agriculture), who researches dietary influences on the gut microbiome and the effects of those microbial shifts on host health, such as inflammation and gut colonization by pathogens.

Sandro Matosevic, assistant professor of industrial and physical pharmacy (College of Pharmacy), whose research focuses on developing new immunotherapies for solid tumors using translational tools to reprogram the therapeutic behavior of natural killer cells and their interaction with the tumor microenvironment.

Brandon Oberlin, a Purdue graduate student mentor and assistant professor of psychiatry with a joint appointment through IUPUI and the Indiana University School of Medicine, whose research interests span the range of addiction development, risk factors, maintenance and progression, and recovery and relapse prevention.

BioCrossroads will maintain engagement with the winners and their nominators through various activities including events and “life sciences ambassadorship” coaching. For more information about the winners, visit the BioCrossroads 23 PAIR webpage.

BioCrossroads 23 PAIR is sponsored by Cook Medical, Eli Lilly and Company and Faegre Drinker. The organization provides money and support to life sciences businesses, launches new life science enterprises, expands collaboration and partnerships among Indiana’s life science institutions, expands science education and markets Indiana’s life sciences industry.

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