Emily Cannistraci Awarded the Jo Rae Wright Fellowship

The Jo Rae Wright Fellowship for Outstanding Women in Science was created in loving memory of Jo Rae Wright, former dean of the Duke University Graduate School and professor of cell biology, medicine, and pediatrics. Wright is remembered for her leadership, her devotion to mentorship and her excellence in teaching. This fellowship was created to recognize two PhD students annually, one in the biomedical sciences and one in the natural sciences whose research shows particular creativity and promise.

Emily is a fourth-year PhD candidate in the laboratory of Dr. Maria Schumacher. Her research focuses on bacterial transcription regulation. She is currently studying the structure and function of a novel transcription activator found in Caulobacter crescentus that is representative of a large, understudied family of transcription regulators. These transcription regulators play key roles in bacterial survival, but their mechanism of action is not well understood. As these transcription regulators are only found in bacteria, her research hopes to further understand how these regulators work to provide a promising target for antibiotic discovery.