Megan Dennis

Megan Dennis Recipient of NSF CAREER Award

Megan Dennis is one of the recipients of a 2022 National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award. An NSF CAREER Award is NSF's most prestigious grant in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education. With five years of support, Dennis' research will focus on transcriptional regulation of primate genes and research opportunities for high school and first-generation undergraduate students.  

Dennis' project aims to identify what makes us uniquely human by comparing newly decoded primate genomes. Genetic differences may offer insights into the origins of increased human brain size and cognitive ability versus other great apes. These same genes may also explain trait differences and susceptibility to diseases observed across modern humans today.

As a first-generation student herself, part of Dennis' CAREER Award will be used to create a Research Experience for Undergrads (REU) to provide support to students interested in the natural sciences. This project will provide early research experiences to high school and undergraduate students from underserved communities, giving them the confidence and skills to continue on in STEM-related fields. 

Read more about Megan Dennis' award here. The full abstract can be viewed here.

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