The Frank lab is celebrating with our own Janelle Tobias, who was awarded the 2020 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

Janelle joined the Frank lab in 2019, developing chemical tools to understand the signaling consequences of cannabinoid receptor activation in pancreatic beta cells.

“As a first-generation Latina and the first graduate student of Dr. James Frank’s lab, I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity offered by this award. Not only can I serve as a visible example of diversity within academia, I can now focus on my research in a training environment that is more financially stable,” Tobias said.

“Like many others, my research is currently at a standstill due to COVID-19,” she continued. “While it can be tempting to be negative about the situation, I have chosen, and invite others as well, to be the positive voice that cheers on those around me. Like research, I believe that the best way to progress and get through this troubling time is together, as a community.”

The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing full-time research-based masters and doctoral degrees in science, technology, education or mathematics and are early in their studies. The purpose of the Graduate Research Fellowship Program is to help ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce in the United States.

The GRFP provides three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant research achievements in STEM or STEM education. NSF especially encourages women, members of underrepresented minority groups, persons with disabilities, veterans, and undergraduate seniors to apply.

Each fellowship consists of three years of support during a five-year fellowship period. NSF provides a stipend of $34,000 to the fellow and a cost-of-education allowance of $12,000 to the graduate degree-granting institution.

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