GSA is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2018 Victoria Finnerty Undergraduate Travel Award. This award, which honors the memory of Victoria Finnerty, supports travel costs for undergraduates engaged in research to attend the 59th Annual Drosophila Research Conference.

Congratulations, undergrads! We’ll see you in Philadelphia.


Leah Anderson

Leah Anderson

The Ohio State University

“I’m studying the binding properties and evolution of cell adhesion molecules that contribute to neural development.”

Rose Besen-McNally

Rose Besen-McNally

College of the Atlantic, research done at Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory

“I study the Role of β-integrin in wound healing in Drosophila epithelium.”

Nicholas Bulthuis

Nicholas Bulthuis

Loyola University Chicago

“I use genetic techniques to identify the roles played by different groups of neurons in regulating circadian rhythms in the fruit fly.”

Elizabeth Hemenway

Elizabeth Hemenway

University of Missouri-Kansas City

“I study the structure and function of a protein complex, the synaptonemal complex, which plays a key role in allowing normal meiosis, thus helping to prevent miscarriage and birth defects in humans by ensuring proper segregation of chromosomes.”

Karam Khateeb

Karam Khateeb

University of Wisconsin-Madison

“My work combines genome engineering and imaging to understand how synapses are organized and reorganized to regulate communication between neurons.”


Jingxian Liu

Jingxian Liu

Cornell University

“We developed a computational model to estimate fitness costs of the yellow phenotype separately in male and female fruit flies in an experimental cage study.”

Oandy Naranjo

Oandy Naranjo

Boston University

“Characterizing the molecular machinery that promotes cell death and clearance in fruit fly development.”

Emilly Rivard

Emily Rivard

College of the Holy Cross

“My research investigates newly evolved genes important for efficient male Drosophila reproduction, specifically genes associated with sperm production.”

Yonatan Schwartz

Yeshiva University

“My project is investigating how aging impacts male fertility.”

Katie Tiemeyer

Katie Tiemeyer

Boston University

“I study the consequences of defective glial phagocytosis on the Drosophila brain.”

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