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"Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well."

- Voltaire 

Thank you for your interest in our Appreciate a Scientist program. Each year GENEWIZ, a Brooks Life Sciences company, appreciates scientists around the world for their scientific contributions. This year we received over 100 submissions! See you again next year!



Scientist of the Week




Christopher Holland

Biological Sciences Laboratory Manager, Indian River State College

Chris Holland is the lab manager at Indian River State College, where he oversees many undergraduate lab courses. Chris also leverages his research experience in molecular biology and agriculture to help train students and mentor capstone research projects.  His ability to facilitate research that includes students, faculty and community partners has made the overall biology program at IRSC very strong, with students winning awards, authoring publications and continuing in careers and graduate programs.  His dedication to student success is seen in the laboratory courses and in the development of individual student researchers. 

Nominated by Tom D'Elia

Chris Holland should be recognized for his commitment to the educational development of students in the biology program at Indian River State College (IRSC). Chris shares his extensive molecular research experience with IRSC students by supervising their capstone research projects. Through sequence-based research, Chris and IRSC students analyze bacteriophage genomes that serve as potential therapies in both agriculture and aquaculture – providing students with real scientific contributions! The students learn valuable skills that have lead them to successful research careers, and graduate and professional school. He continually works to provide the best educational experiences for our students.


Scientist of the Day




Dr. Gabriela Hädrich

Postdoctoral Scientist, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg

Dr. Gabriela Hädrich has made her Ph.D. in Health Sciences (FURG, Brazil) where she worked with Tuberculosis treatment using nanoparticles, summing her biologist background with the expertise that she has acquired in her master where she worked also with pharmaceutical technology. Currently she is still working in the same field as a postdoc at Martin-Luther University Germany.

Nominated by Lysann Tietze

"Gabriela Hädrich is one of the best postdocs I ever worked with. Even in stressful times, she helped Ph.D. students as well as other members of other groups, like Ph.D. students and also postdocs. Her knowledge of different methods is versatile. She is a specialist in working with cell culture and nanoparticles. Like you know, cells are doing what they want - all the time - and she can restrain them! After my Ph.D. I worked with her together every day and learned a lot in the field of nanoparticles and inhalation drugs. Beside her great knowledge in different scientific fields, she has a great personality and welcomes every new member with open arms. Because of Gabriela, I'm the postdoc I always wanted to be. An independent team player, with much more knowledge in cell culture and nanoparticles than ever before."




Katherine Meckel

Ph.D. Candidate, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Katherine Meckel is a 3rd year PhD candidate in Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Her work in Kiraly lab seeks to understand how gut microbiome-derived metabolites modulate epigenetic, transcriptional, and behavioral response to drugs of abuse, and hopes to identify novel translational research targets to reduce the burden of substance use disorders. At Mount Sinai, she engages in peer mentoring, outreach at NYC science festivals, and student teaching at Patrick Henry School. More recently, she volunteered with Covid-19 biobanking efforts and sang on a virtual benefit concert to raise funds for local communities affected by the pandemic. In her spare time, Katherine enjoy exploring new cuisines, visiting museums, and cuddling her cats Data and Lore.

Nominated by Drew Kiraly

"During her PhD, Katherine has leveraged her dual expertise in neuroscience and gastroenterology to shed exciting new light on brain-gut signaling in a translationally-relevant model of cocaine addiction. Her novel, interdisciplinary research lays the groundwork for understanding how gut bacterial metabolites modulate epigenetic regulation and gene expression in brain reward centers. I recommend Katherine with the highest enthusiasm, not only for her tenacity and rigor, but also for her exceptional commitment to mentoring junior scientists, both within the lab and throughout the Neuroscience program. Katherine has true potential to develop into a leader in the emerging field of gut-brain research."




Dr. Ngat Tran

Postdoctoral Scientist, John Innes Centre, UK

I am currently working full-time in the Department of Molecular Microbiology at the John Innes Centre. As an RA and postdoc, I have been helping my PI to run the lab on the daily basis. I have been actively helping people in the lab with their experiments by explaining, advising, demonstrating different microbiological approaches. Also, I have been setting up a lot of new technical methods (like protein purifications, Chip-seq, IDAP-seq, RNA-seq, and DRaCALA) since we started opening the lab in 2016 at the John Innes. Besides that, I have my own project to run too. For the last 4 years, I have 3 papers in NAR, Cell Reports and Molecular Microbiology with my name as the first author. And I have recently had a paper in eLife as the second author. This paper is one of the first that gave insights into how ParB, a critical protein for chromosome organization and segregation in bacteria, performs its functions. I am also a Mom of two small children, aged 7 and 5. It has been really challenging to perform as a full-time scientist and take care of both children.

Self Nomination




Dr. Aria Eshraghi

Assistant Professor, University of Florida

Dr. Eshraghi is an assistant professor in the Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology at University of Florida. His research is focused on understanding fundamental cellular processes by studying how pathogenic bacteria interact with their hosts. Dr. Eshraghi has elucidated the mechanisms by which bacterial toxins and secretion systems hijack host cells to cause disease. His burgeoning trainee-centered research program continues to push the frontiers of knowledge in biomedical research.

Nominated by Anonymous

"Dr. Eshraghi is a phenomenal researcher and mentor. His enthusiasm for science and teaching is infectious, much like the pathogen he studies. His work on a unique protein secretion system in Francisella has revealed how these bacteria take advantage of the host and has laid the groundwork for many interesting avenues of study. Furthermore, Dr. Eshraghi strives to promote trainees at every level through thoughtful coaching and guidance, paying particular attention to those who are underrepresented in the life sciences."


People's Choice Award




Manoj Thakur

Research Fellow, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Manoj Thakur is a research fellow in the laboratory of Scott Keeney at MSKCC, New York. He has provided new insights into the mechanism of action of Nucleotide Excision Repair proteins in M. tuberculosis. Currently, he is working on the molecular players which regulate the assembly/disassembly of the macromolecular machinery formed by proteins which initiate meiosis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These studies help in understanding how cells first inflict and then repair double strand breaks in the genome during meiosis.

Nominated by Kaustubh Shukla

“I’ve known Manoj as a smart, brilliant and astute researcher. His work on Nucleotide Excision Repair proteins in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, provided novel insights into the functions of UvrB and UvrC proteins. Previously these proteins were studied in E. coli which is widely accepted as the prokaryotic model for NER pathway, but Manoj has comprehensively elucidated significant differences between these E. coli and Mycobacterial proteins. His work has directly impacted and changed the way we look at DNA repair in Mycobacteria. I believe he, and his study has had a great impact on the field and thus it should be recognized.”



Deepika Prasad

Ph.D., Research Fellow, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Deepika Prasad is currently working as a Research fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Her work focuses on the mechanism of recombination in mammalian system and its interplay with mismatch repair system.

Nominated by Manoj Thakur

"I am nominating one of my colleagues Deepika Prasad , working as a research fellow in mskcc New York. She has done excellent work and unraveled new insights in genetic recombination. The proof is that she had many publications in the concerned field."