In July, recent alumna Antonina Kruppa '07 had the honor of attending the 57th meeting of Nobel laureates dedicated to physiology or medicine in Lindau, Germany. Kruppa, of Hamburg, Germany, was one of 560 young researchers from 62 countries chosen to attend the meeting out of more than 20,000 applicants. Undergraduate and graduate students, along with postdoctoral scientists, are nominated and then go through a multistage selection process to attend the meeting. Kruppa was also asked by the meeting's chairpersons to give a speech at the closing ceremony on behalf of all the young researchers.
"The meeting was absolutely fantastic, and it was an incredible honor to attend it," Kruppa said. "My sincere gratitude goes to the Department of Biological Sciences for awarding me the Ira Skillman Stryker Fellowship, which made it possible for me to attend this magnificent meeting."
At the meeting, young scientists mingled with 17 Nobel laureates through lectures, informal discussions, panel presentations, and social events. The meeting's goal is to "provide a platform for dialogue between the scientific elites of today and tomorrow. The imparting of knowledge, motivation, and inspiration characterize this globally unique conference."
Kruppa majored in biochemistry and minored in mathematics at MHC. During her last two summers she participated in two internships supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Summer Research Fellowships, first with NYU Medical School's department of cell biology, and then at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute with the Cancer Research UK Fission Yeast Functional Genomics Group (in Hinxton, England). Her senior honors thesis under the supervision of professor of biological sciences Craig Woodard studied the effects of steroid hormones on development.
In October 2007 Kruppa will begin a Ph.D. program in the department of medicine at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, University of Cambridge, on a studentship from the Wellcome Trust. Her work there will involve assessing the function of genetic modifiers in a Drosophila (fruit fly) model of Alzheimer's disease.
"My ultimate goal is to pursue a scientific research career carrying out medical research on model organisms, where I hope to investigate and unravel complex problems of human diseases," she said.