Jingyue Yan awarded prestigious Presidential Fellowship

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December 14, 2021

Jingyue Yan
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College of Pharmacy PhD student Jingyue Yan was recently awarded one of The Ohio State University’s most prestigious graduate fellowships, the Presidential Fellowship.

Students granted this competitive fellowship “embody the highest standards of scholarships in the full range of Ohio State’s graduate programs.” It will provide Yan full-time financial support for three consecutive semesters, allowing her to complete her research and graduate studies during this time without competing priorities. 

Yan’s research focuses on the delivery of mRNA-based therapeutics using lipid nanoparticles, an area of research that recently became widely known due to the newer mRNA-style COVID-19 vaccines.

In the past few years, messenger RNA (mRNA) has emerged as a novel type of therapeutic agent for the prevention and treatment of various diseases,” Yan said. “Our lab investigates the lipid nanoparticle-mediated delivery of novel mRNA therapeutics for biological research and treatments toward cancer, infectious disease and genetic disorders. I sincerely believe that with proper delivery systems, mRNA has great potential in promoting scientific research, introducing novel therapeutics and addressing complicated diseases. It is such a joy and privilege for me to receive scientific training under the mentorship of my advisor, Dr. Yizhou Dong, and my committee members, Dr. Phelps, Dr. Govindarajan and Dr. Shu.”

Numerous college faculty members wrote letters in support of the nomination including, Sharyn Baker, PharmD, PhD, Gertrude Parker Heer Chair in Cancer Research, chair and professor of the pharmaceutics and pharmacology department at the College of Pharmacy, and Mitch Phelps, PhD, professor of pharmaceutics and pharmacology at the College of Pharmacy and Qianben Wang, PhD, professor of the Duke University Cancer Institute, wrote letters in support of the nomination.

“Jingyue Yan is a truly outstanding candidate - fully deserving of a Presidential Fellowship,” said James Fuchs, PhD, graduate studies chair and professor in the Ohio State College of Pharmacy. “She is not only extremely talented but also a person who will continue to contribute a great deal to the university.”

Her advisor Dr. Dong said, “Whenever there is an issue in our project, Jingyue is able to identify the key point, then discuss with graduate students and postdocs and finally solve the problem by herself. During the process, she is an excellent team member and communicates well with others. Within three years, she has published ten papers including four first or co-first authored paper in high-impact journals. Three additional manuscripts are under review as a first or co-first author. She is also a co-inventor on one patent application.”

“I have been collaborating with Jingyue and her mentor, Dr. Yizhou Dong, on nanomedicine-based cancer research since 2018 and COVID-19 research since 2020. Jingyue helped us generate specific CRISPR/Cas13 mRNA sequences for these projects, and she is a co-author of our manuscript in preparation focusing on targeting host proteases for treating SARS-CoV-2 infection,” Dr. Wang said. “Jingyue has been an enthusiastic and diligent student with remarkable talents. When facing experimental obstacles, she was able to quickly solve the issues. Jingyue has a strong sense of responsibility. She often double-checks with us regarding the details of the mRNAs to make sure everything is right and provide us the mRNAs at her earliest convenience.”

As a part of the financial support, she will receive a monthly stipend of $3,000; full payment of her tuition, general/instructional fees and learning and technology fees; a travel allowance of up to $500 to present research at a national conference during fellowship tenure; and more.

“Receiving this prestigious award is a huge honor for me as a graduate student, and it motivates me to explore more in the field of pharmaceutical sciences,” Yan said. “I am also grateful for the assistance of the exceptional resources available at Ohio State.”