2015 Women’s Young Investigator Travel Award Winner: Sowmya Subramanian

Sowmya Subramanian for YWITA-1
Sowmya Subramanian

We are pleased to announce that Sowmya Subramanian has received one of seven Women’s Young Investigator Travel Awards.

Sowmya Subramanian is currently an Associate Research Scientist at the New Mexico Consortium.  Sowmya’s research focuses on understanding and finding solutions to factors that affect photosynthetic productivity. Photosynthesis is a complex phenomenon with several kinetically slow processes in the front end and back end processes. She published a review regarding these events in Biotechnology for Biofuels (2013), and her current research projects are designed to address these constraints. These include easing bottlenecks in the early electron transfer steps of photosynthesis in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and engineering carbon concentration mechanisms (CCM) in C3 plants. In the course of her research on engineering CCM, she introduced several genes: a bacterial carbonic anhydrase (BCA) and algal bicarbonate transporters in C3 plants. In Arabidopsis thaliana, she was able to demonstrate that T3 transgenic lines with the BCA gene showed improved photosynthetic efficiency and an increase in biomass. A provisional patent has been applied to protect the IP of this work, and she is excited to present these results at the 2015 ASPB meeting.

About the Women’s Young Investigator Travel Award

Each year the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) awards travel grants to early career women investigators through a competitive process to attend the Plant Biology Annual Meeting. The goal of the Women’s Young Investigator Travel Award (WYITA) program is to increase attendance of female investigators in their first five years as an independent scientist in academia, industry, or government at the annual meeting by providing travel funds. Selection is based first on the science and quality of the abstract submitted relative to the amount of time as a young investigator, second on a statement describing why travel should be supported, and third on financial need.

This year seven women were selected and each will receive a $1000 award to attend the Plant Biology Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, MN.

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