UNMC students named Presidential Graduate Fellows

by Melissa Lee, University of Nebraska | July 25, 2017

Image with caption: University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds, Ph.D.

University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds, Ph.D.

Two UNMC graduate students were among the 2017-18 Presidential Graduate Fellows announced Monday by University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds, Ph.D.

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Fei Yu
Dr. Bounds announced six recipients of the prestigious fellowships, which are awarded to a select group of NU graduate students each year on the basis of high scholastic performance and personal accomplishment. Fellows receive a stipend provided through the University of Nebraska Foundation that allows them to pursue their studies full-time.

"Students who receive Presidential Graduate Fellowships are among our best and brightest. They are outstanding ambassadors of the University of Nebraska and I'm certain we'll see great things from them in the future," Dr. Bounds said. "We're fortunate to enjoy a level of private support that permits these talented students to fully devote themselves to their studies and research."

This year's UNMC Presidential Graduate Fellows are:

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Brandon Griess
Fei Yu, of China, a Ph.D. student in pharmaceutical sciences.
Yu's primary research interest is in the development of polymers for drug delivery systems. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Southeast University in Nanjing, China, and did graduate work at the University of Houston in Texas. At UNMC, she has explored polymers to deliver drugs and genes for cancer treatment under the mentorship of David Oupick√Ĺ, Ph.D. She has published several research papers and will continue her research on combination drug delivery based on polymers.

Brandon Griess, of Hartington, Neb., a Ph.D. student in biochemistry and molecular biology.
Griess' research focuses on the interaction between breast cancer cells and the surrounding normal cells, especially a subset of immune cells, called macrophages. He studies treatments used to activate the macrophages to target and kill cancer cells. Griess earned his bachelor's degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. At UNMC, his research has received support from the National Institutes of Health and UNMC's competitive graduate student assistantship program. He has received UNMC's prestigious Berndt Graduate Student Travel Award, an Excellence in Oral Presentation award, and an Outstanding Performance Stipend. Griess has served as a teaching assistant and personal tutor at UNL.

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