Carnegie Mellon University Department of Chemistry

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Kimberly Zanotti receives 2007 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship

photo of Kimberly ZanottiKimberly Zanotti, first-year graduate student in the Department of Chemistry, has received a 2007 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship. She is one of approximately 200 students selected from over 3,400 applicants this year. Selections are based on academic and overall ability — including applicants’ academic records, personal statements, recommendations, and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores —  in areas of interest to the U.S. Department of Defense. The prestigious NDSEG Fellowship covers tuition and required fees for three years and provides a yearly stipend.

Kim has joined Bruce Armitage’s group and began research in Summer 2006. She is currently using peptide nucleic acid (PNA) probes to study RNA structure.  In collaboration with Danith Ly’s group, Kim will be modifying the backbone structure of PNA to significantly increase the specificity and selectivity of the probes for their target RNA molecules. These modified probes will then be used to study the ribosome assembly process, in collaboration with the Woolford lab in the Biological Sciences department.

While completing her B.S. in Chemistry at Duquesne University, Kim was active in undergraduate research in both computational chemistry and biochemistry. Her computational work on potential uses of pyrophosphate crystals as a therapeutic agent in treatment of pseudogout arthritis was published in Biophysical Journal. She also conducted fluorescence students of RNA complexes associated with Fragile X syndrome, and the results of her studies led to a publication in Biochemistry on which Kim was the first author. Kim plans on obtaining an industry job in the Pittsburgh region upon completion of her graduate studies.

The Department of Defense (DoD) is committed to increasing the number and quality of our nation's scientists and engineers. The DoD annually supports approximately 8,000 graduate students in fields important to national defense needs.


April 11, 2007