Chemistry Graduate Students Take Top Honors at WARF Discovery Challenge

2017 Discovery Challenge winners. From left: Sarah Neuman, Ryan Clark, Naomi Biok.

An approach for improving insulin secretion in mutant animals, more industry-relevant conditions for engineering studies and an in-depth look at protein folding have won Discovery Challenge Awards from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF).

The sixth annual Discovery Challenge is a research competition open to UW–Madison graduate students and postdoctoral researchers from all departments. The goal of the competition is to promote cross-disciplinary collaboration.

The event featured a poster session and almost 60 presenters ranging from psychiatry to botany, medical informatics to civil engineering. Cash prizes were awarded to the most creative, impactful and collaborative proposals.

Chemistry graduate student Naomi Biok received a prize for her project examining how hydrophobic interactions of alpha peptides affect the process that provides proteins with their function: "Cationic Modulation of Hydrophobic Interactions in Peptidic Systems in Bulk Solution."

Chemistry graduate student Qinjingwen Cao was awarded a peer prize for her project, "Multifaceted Mass Spectrometric Analyses of Feeding-Related Metabolomic and Peptidomic Changes in the Rock Crab, Cancer Irroratus."

Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation