Ngoc-Han Tran chosen by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to be a Hanna Gray Fellow
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has selected Whitehead Institute postdoctoral researcher Ngoc-Han Tran as a Hanna H. Gray Fellow. As one of 25 scientists selected for the prestigious appointment this year, Tran will receive funding that supports their postdoctoral training and may continue into their early career year as independent faculty.
“I’m grateful for this support and am especially looking forward to being a part of the vibrant community of Hanna Gray fellows,” says Tran, who is a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Whitehead Institute director Ruth Lehmann.
Ngoc-Han Tran studies the endoplasmic reticulum—a cellular compartment that performs a wide range of essential functions—as it operates in the ovary. By defining the relationship between the shapes and functions of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) during an egg cell’s maturation, Tran seeks to understand how the ER is inherited across generations and how its malfunctions can lead to disease.
Notably, Hanna H. Gray Fellows have the freedom to change their research focus and follow their own curiosity for the duration of the award. “This emphasis on giving researchers freedom to follow unanticipated scientific paths,” Lehmann explains, “matches Whitehead Institute’s determination to support investigators’ pursuit of novel and risky ideas and their efforts to address previously unasked questions. And in Han Tran, they could not have chosen a young scientist more ready to be a pioneer in foundational biological research.”
The goal of HHMI’s Hanna H. Gray Fellows Program is to help advance the careers of talented individuals from gender, racial, ethnic, and other groups underrepresented in the life sciences, including those individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. In addition to receiving funding, Fellows participate in professional development, mentorship, and networking with their community of peers and the broader HHMI community of scientists.
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