The Elizabeth Nash Foundation Student CF Research Award for High School Seniors
The Elizabeth Nash Foundation is in the sixth year of a partnership with Children's Hospital and
Research Center Oakland (CHORI), an internationally renowned biomedical research institute that
bridges basic science and clinical research in the prevention and treatment of human disease. The
Elizabeth Nash Foundation Summer Research Award is available to high school seniors and
undergraduates who have a strong interest in pursuing CF research. The award is designed to identify
and train the next generation of talented CF researchers. Students receive a stipend from the
Foundation and CHORI pairs student with a mentor scientist to guide them through a structured CF
research project. Previous recipients have co-authored publications in Free Radical Biology &
Medicine and Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry involving their summer research.
Please see the following for further information on CHORI's summer research programs and the
Elizabeth Nash Foundation award. The deadline for applications for summer 2013 is 4pm on April 15,
2013. Announcement of awards will be made on May 3.
Elizabeth Nash Foundation
PO Box 1260
Los Gatos, CA 95031-1260
Maria Bustillo received an award in the summer of 2010 as a sophomore majoring in biology at
Wellesley College. Her oldest cousin was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis nearly 35 years ago and
received a double lung transplant, providing inspiration for her research and throughout Maria’s life.
Maria’s summer project focused on developing novel tools to maximize CFTR function in wild-type
airway cells, a study that could maximize the effect of future CF treatments. Upon graduation from
college, Maria plans to go on to medical school and hopes to continue to do research, an interest
developed during her time at CHORI.
Samantha Spence received an award in the summer of 2010 as a junior at Winona State University,
Minnesota majoring in Biology-Allied Health. She has two brothers with CF which has given her the
drive to learn more about CF and to eventually pursue a medical degree. Her ultimate goal is to
become a pediatric pulmonologist specializing in CF. Samantha’s summer project focused on
correcting the ΔF508 function in CF bronchial epithelial cells.
Lauren Meiss received an award in the summer of 2009. Lauren, a National Merit Scholar studying
bioengineering at the Barrett Honors College of Arizona State University, was diagnosed with cystic
fibrosis when she was three months old. Lauren's summer research project focused on the protective
effects of heat shock proteins during oxidative stress induced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a
bacteria of key interest, in cystic fibrosis bronchial epithelial cells. Lauren credits her summer
research with increasing her interest in continuing to focus on CF when she enters medical school
upon completion of her undergraduate studies. In summarizing her summer experience, Lauren
commented "I am amazed by the amount of information I have learned in such a short period of time.
Dr. Illek and Dr. Fischer are very encouraging and willing to share their vast knowledge."
Sara Moldin received an award in the summer of 2009 in her third year as a Molecular Cell
Development Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has an older sibling with CF, a
relationship that has given her the ambition to pursue a medical degree. Sara has volunteered with
Hospice of Santa Cruz County, Cystic Fibrosis Research, Inc. (CFRI), and the Ronald McDonald
House. Her summer research project was focused on studying the role of heat shock proteins in the
recovery of wildtype and mutant CFTR function in cystic fibrosis airways.
Tara Streich-Tilles of Oakland, CA received an award in the summer 2008. Her research project
focused on how pathogens that are found in the lungs of CF patients affect the secretion of hydrogen
peroxide in epithelial cells . A precise balance of hydrogen peroxide promotes health within the lungs,
so determining how this mechanism might be modified in people with CF is particularly important.
Tara graduated from Yale College with a BA in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology in May,
2009 and will receive her Masters of Public Health from the Global Health Division of the Yale School
of Public Health in May, 2010. Tara plans to attend medical school in the fall of 2010 and hopes to
continue to contribute to the CF community.
John Cossette of Minnetonka, MN received an award in the summer of 2008. John, who has CF,
spent the summer investigating the stimulating effects of various compounds on the CFTR protein in
CFTR-corrected cells. Research in this area is crucial to ensuring the lasting success of any potential
corrective drugs or gene therapies for CF. John is currently a sophomore at Carleton College in MN
where he is majoring in biology. He credits the CF Summer Research Award experience with making
him realize his desire to pursue a career in medical science.
Kate Barber of Orinda, CA was awarded the CHORI summer student CF research award in 2007.
Kate is in her second year at Stanford University in Palo Alto. The subject of Kate’s work was
Pyocyanin-induced H202 Production in Cystic Fibrosis Airways. Kate was mentored by Beate llek,
Ph.D. and Horst Fischer, Ph.D. of CHORI. She received her award while attending the Cystic
Fibrosis Research, Inc. (CFRI) 2007 Annual Conference.
Logan Wahler, Pleasanton, CA received the inaugural award in the summer of 2005. This was the
pilot program for the formal collaboration established in 2007. Logan, majoring in Bioengineering, at
California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, CA was inspired by a desire to help those like his
brother who died from CF in 2001. Under the direction of Dr. Beate Illek, Logan participated in
research of the CFTR chloride channel defect in CF airway cells.
Lauren Meiss, Arizona State
Lauren is a senior majoring in biomedical engineering at Arizona State University. She was diagnosed
with CF when she was three months old and has been an Award recipient for two summers. Lauren's
research project focused on how a quorum-sensing molecule secreted by Pseudomonas Aeruginosa
causes degradation of epithelial cells. Upon graduation Lauren plans to continue CF research at the
University of Gothenburg in Sweden before enrolling in an MD/PhD dual degree program.
Dr. Fisher, PhD, Maria and Lauren
in the lab
Lauren Meiss, Sara Modlin (2009)
lllek B, Meiss L, Modlin S, Cohen F, Gruenert D, Howard M, Fischer H (2009) Heat shock response
protects against pyocyanin-induced loss of CFTR function in bronchial epithelial cells. Free Rad Biol
Med., 47 suppl 1, S101.
John Cossette, Tara Streich-Tilles (2008)
lllek B, Fischer H, Streich-Tilles T, Cheng A, Ames BN, Jiang Q, Peden DB (2007)
Duox1-mediated release of hydrogen peroxide is modified by vitamin C. Am J Respir. Crit. Care Med.,
Fischer H, Streich-Tilles T, Illek B (2008) Expression and Function of the HVCN1 proton channel in
airways. (2008). Ped. Pulmonol., suppl 31, 244.
Katherine J. Barber (2007)
Illek, B, Suh, JH, Kim E, Barber KJ, Fischer H, Gruenert D, Schwarzer C, Machen TE (2008)
Oxidative stress by pyocyanin inhibits Cl- transport in wildtype CFTR corrected cystic fibrosis
bronchial epithelial cells. Ped. Pulmonol., suppl 31,228, 322.
Schwarzer C , Fischer H, Kim EJ, Barber KJ, Mills AD, Kurth MJ, Gruenert DC, Suh JH, Machen
TE, Illek B (2008) Oxidative Stress caused by pyocyanin impairs CFTR Cl- Transport In Human
Bronchial Epithelial Cells. Free Radical Biology & Medicine. 45(12): 1653-62.
Logan Wahler (2006)
Maurisse R, Illek B, Cheung J, Wahler L, Fischer H, Gruenert DC (2006) Episomal expression of the
entire 6.2kb CFTR cDNA corrects defective Cl secretion across polarized cystic fibrosis airways. Ped.
Pulmonol., suppl. 29, 290.
Illek B, Maurisse R, Fischer H, Wahler L, Gruenert DC (2007). Enhanced ATP-stimulated Cl
secretion after complementation of CF airway epithelia cells with WT-CFTR. Ped. Pulmonol.,
Illek B, Maurisse R, Wahler L, Kunzelmann K, Fischer H, Gruenert DC (2008) Cl- Transport in
Complemented CF Bronchial Epithelial Cells Correlates with CFTR mRNA Expression Levels. J.
Cellular Physiol. Biochem. 22:57-68.
|“This experience in the CHORI CF lab changed my perspective of my disease and treatment,
and for that I want to thank Dr. Illek and Dr. Fischer. Their passion for research in this
field is contagious, and their vast knowledge is an endless supply of information I have been
craving to learn about my disease. I want to thank them for their guidance and willingness
to share their knowledge.” - Lauren
Maria Bustillo, Wellesley College
Maria is a junior biology major at Wellesley College. This is her second summer in the CHORI lab.
Her cousin, a CF patient, is a double lung transplant recipient. Her work this summer examined
novel methods of increasing the success of gene therapy for CF. Maria credits her experience in the
CHORI summer program for sparking her interest in research which she hopes to continue after
college as part of a MD/PhD program.
“I want to thank ENF for everything it has done, not only for the CF community, but also
for my own personal and academic growth over the past two years. Working with Drs.
Illek and Fischer at CHORI has been an absolutely amazing experience. I couldn’t ask
for better mentors or a more supportive program. Thank you to ENF for providing the
generous support that made this experience possible.” - Maria