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2013 Joukowsky Dissertation Prize Profile: The Mechanics of Biofuel Bacteria

May 20, 2013
Jennifer R. Davis

 “I’ve learned a variety of new techniques that are applicable in many different fields. That was one of the most rewarding things about my research.” Credit: Mike Cohea/Brown University

Jennifer R. Davis’ Joukowsky Award-winning dissertation explaining how certain bacteria can turn plant matter into the precursors of biofuels was a novel project in Jason Sello’s chemistry lab. It is also a tour (de force) of genomics, bioinformatics, biochemistry, and structural biology that has made a promising scientist even more broadly skilled.

In essence, Jennifer R. Davis’s doctoral dissertation is a study of how microbes with a rare and precious aptitude could gain even greater potential. In some ways, that’s also the narrative of Davis herself. She arrived at Brown in 2008 as an uncommonly impressive go-getter. This week she graduates as a highly skilled scientist with the 2013 Joukowsky Outstanding Dissertation Award in the life sciences category.

Read more of David Orenstein's article about Jennifer R. Davis and her award winner dissertation.