2022 Eclipse Award for Innovation in High Throughput Biology Winners
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Graduate Student winner: Oguzhan Begik

Mr. Oguzhan Begik is a graduate student in the laboratories of John Mattick at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research at the University of New South Wales in Sydney Australia and Eva Maria Novoa at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona, Spain. His research focuses on using long-read direct RNA sequencing to improve prediction, detection, and mapping of epitranscriptomic modifications. Oguzhan’s work has established methods to detect and quantify N⁶-methyladenosine and pseudouridine in addition to advancing our understanding of how the cellular machinery that regulates these modifications changes in models of stress response and disease. His research demonstrated that nanopore sequencing can be used to study poly(A) tail length and transcript abundance simultaneously in RNAs from full-length reads, and highlights how this technology can be used to gain new insights into the transcriptome. He has been a member of the RNA Society since 2016.

Postdoctoral Fellow winner: Aldema Sas-Chen

Dr. Aldema Sas-Chen was recently appointed to the position of Senior Lecturer at Tel-Aviv University in Israel following Postdoctoral training at the Weizmann Institute of Science in the laboratory of Dr. Schraga Schwartz. During her studies, Aldema studied the epitranscriptome by developing and employing next-generation sequencing techniques to map diverse RNA modifications in various models. For example, her research characterized temperature-dependent acetylation of cytidine in archaea. In addition, Aldema’s research mapping the dynamics of pseudouridine, N1-methyladenosine, and 2’-O-methylation in mitochondrial RNA, as well as studying RNA modification machinery in the context of translation, has advanced our understanding of mitochondrial biology in humans. In her own lab, she will investigate RNA-based mechanisms of gene regulation and how RNA modifications shape cellular processes. She has been a member of the RNA Society since 2020.