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HHMI Gilliam Blog 2021

Congratulations 2021 HHMI Gilliam Fellows and their Faculty Advisers

Two student-faculty pairs have been selected for the 2021 class of Howard Hughes Medical Institute Gilliam Fellows.   This fellowship supports graduate students who are committed to increasing diversity among science leaders and desire to become faculty members at colleges and universities.  Learn more about the 2021 student-thesis advisors and Gilliam Fellowship, click here.  Congratulations to:


Alfredo Gonzalez

Thesis Adviser: Paul Boutros

Home Area: Molecular Pharmacology

Born in Central America, raised in the U.S., Alfredo received his B.S. in Biochemistry from Providence College. Following research stints in Amy Wager’s Laboratory at Harvard and the Broad Institute’s Cancer Dependency Map, in 2020 he joined the laboratory of Paul Boutros as a PhD student.  His research focuses on the development of personalized therapies for sarcoma, childhood associated cancers, and the predictive modeling of patient outcomes. His most recent project centers on characterizing the somatic driver mutations and germline correlates of rare understudied sarcoma subtypes, with an emphasis on regions outside the exome.



Kelly Kennewick

Thesis Adviser: Steve Bensinger

Home Area: Immunity, Microbes & Molecular Pathogenesis

Kelly grew up in Seattle and later attended University of Washington where she received her BS in Biochemistry. She then moved down to Los Angeles and began working as a research associate in the Forman Lab at City of Hope. There, she developed and optimized CAR T cells for the treatment of bone metastatic prostate cancer. After four years at City of Hope, she began graduate school at UCLA. She now works in the lab of Dr. Steven Bensinger exploring novel questions regarding the crosstalk between lipid metabolism and T cell immunity. Her current projects include applying advanced mass spectrometry–based analytic approaches to explore the relationship between lipid composition and T cell function in healthy and obese hosts.