Meet our Early Career Scientist Grant Winner Akino Mercy Charles Solomon
We’re delighted to introduce another of our Early Career Scientist Grant winners! Akino Mercy Charles Solomon of Temple University, Philadelphia, USA, is the latest recipient of our monthly $500 grant awarded to a PhD or postdoc life scientist to help support their career.
Akino Mercy is a postdoctoral fellow working in the Fels Cancer Institute for Personalized Medicine, and she plans to use the grant to help fund her trip to the FASEB Science Research Conference on The Calcium and Cell Function in Malahide, Ireland. At the conference she will present the findings of her current research: “The Dynamics of Calcium Regulation on T Cell Diversity and Function Both in the Jurkat T Cell Line and T Cell Subsets from STIM1 Knock-out Mouse Models”.
Akino Mercy told us how she felt about receiving the grant:
Thanks to your generous support, I feel that I am one step closer to achieving my goals. This is so encouraging and I will take this opportunity to broaden my connections with scientific experts all over the world. Attending this conference will surely increase my research visibility and impact. Akino Mercy, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA, Hello Bio Early Career Scientist Grant winner
Congratulations Akino Mercy! First, can you tell us a bit more about what you're working on at the moment?
Currently am studying the role of the protein POST in calcium influx and clearance in the T cell subsets from knock-out mouse models. My primary focus is on mechanisms controlling STIM1 translocation to the immunological synapse (IS), and along with this I have also been investigating the dynamics of calcium regulation and how it alters the Mitochondrial function using primary and Jurkat T cells.
What is it about your field of research that gets you most excited?
Cell biology discoveries have identified many molecular pathways that regulate gene expression, cell proliferation, cell death, and cell differentiation. Cell biology has made significant contributions to our understanding of cancer, developmental biology, and aging. One of the most exciting aspects is that translational cell biologists pursue research questions that directly impact on treating human diseases.
Which scientists working today do you most admire, and why?
Fang Li, the 431st most impactful scientist of 2022 according to Elsevier, conducts coronavirus research that is critical to the virus's fundamental understanding. Li and his lab have spent over a decade studying the structural biology of coronaviruses and have discovered the molecular events that lead to coronavirus entry into host cells. Furthermore, he has developed structure-based strategies for vaccine design and drug development against this virus.
What do you think are the biggest challenges currently facing life scientists and their work?
One of the biggest challenges today is the intense competition for research positions and delayed job security.
And finally… what’s your favourite science quote?
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understood more, so that we may fear less” – Marie Curie
Thank you so much Akino Mercy! We wish you all the very best with your future research and look forward to following your career as it progresses!
Connect with Akino Mercy:
- Twitter: @akino_mercy
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