Dr. Sid Jain, an alumnus of the Peter Lewis lab in BMC and of the Cellular and Molecular Biology Graduate Program (CMB), was awarded the 2020 Raymond L. Erikson Exceptional Thesis Award. This was the first year of the award, which was created to honor CMB students who have written and defended an exceptional thesis. A fund supporting the award was created by family and friends in honor of Dr. Erikson, the second student to ever graduate from CMB, who died last year.
Sid’s thesis is titled “Dysregulation of Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 by Oncohistone Mutations in Pediatric Brain and Bone Tumors.” The CMB nomination committee for the award described the impact of Sid’s research, stating that he “made transformative discoveries in revealing the mechanism of action of oncohistones. His findings that uncover how mutations in histone tails and histone modify enzymes alter the epigenetic control of transcription leading to tumorigenic phenotypes, point to potential therapeutic strategies. Besides remarkable proficiency at the bench, he showed great aptitude for bioinformatic analyses, integrating data from parallel platforms to reveal patterns of activity. He is a scholar, his productivity is exceptional, and his publications are viewed as high impact by researchers across the world.”
Amelia Haj, who carried out her thesis research with Dr. David O’Connor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, was awarded alongside Sid for her thesis titled “Functional Consequences of Immunogenetic Variation in Rhesus and Cynomolgus Macaques.” Both will receive $1000 and an award plaque, and their names will be added to a plaque that hangs in the Bock Labs Penthouse.
Please join us in congratulating these deserving awardees!