Lee News

Alumna Chukwura has Work Published in Journal

 

By Olivia Webb

Lee University alumna, Dr. Evelyn Chukwurah, was recently published in a scientific journal, adding to her two previous publications.

Chukwurah’s recent publication appeared last year in Scientific Reports. Her published papers stem from her dissertation work, with her most recent pertaining specifically to the regulation of cellular survival.

Her other two publications, both taking place in 2017, appeared in Biochemical Journal and the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry. Chukwurah’s first paper focuses on how the HIV virus replicates in infected cells by evading the cellular barriers. Her second publication observes the interactions between members of a family of double stranded RNA-binding proteins crucial to the cellular response to stress.

Evelyn Chukwara
Evelyn Chukwura shown here with some of her research


Chukwurah, who graduated from Lee in 2010 with a bachelor's degree in chemistry, received her Doctor of Philosophy in molecular biology from the University of South Carolina (USC), where she studied in Dr. Rekha Patel’s laboratory. During this time, she investigated how double-stranded RNA-binding proteins interact with each other to ensure an appropriate cellular response to viral infection and other physiological stresses, and consequently, cellular recovery.

After receiving her doctorate, she transitioned to a post-doctoral position in Dr. Sofia Lizarraga’s neurodevelopmental lab, also at USC, where her research revolves around understanding autism at the cellular and molecular levels.

“I always look back fondly at the time I spent at Lee,” said Chukwurah, who earned her bachelor's degree in chemistry. “The thorough grounding I received in my science and math classes prepared me for the rigors of graduate school.”

During her time at USC, Chukwurah has received the USC Foundation Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award and the Jeffrey Barnesdale Memorial Fellowship. Both awards are based on consistent records of excellence in teaching.

“Teaching was a very important part of my graduate school experience,” said Chukwurah. “I have tried to emulate the passion and the personal investment of the professors I had in my classes at Lee in my own classroom.”

Chukwurah’s dissertation work in genetics also earned her the Kathryn Hinnant-Johnson M.D. Memorial Fellowship from the Department of Biological Sciences at USC.


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