PhD student Ethan Whipp selected as Presidential Fellowship recipient

December 20, 2023
Ethan Whipp presenting research at the 2022 ASHP Midyear Meeting

Ethan Whipp, a PhD student in the Division of Pharmaceutics and Pharmacology at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy, was awarded one of Ohio State’s most prestigious awards given by the Graduate School, the Presidential Fellowship. 

This fellowship is awarded annually to graduate students to support the completion of their dissertations or terminal degree projects. The competitive fellowship lasts three consecutive semesters and offers full-time financial support to recipients. In addition to the Presidential Fellowship, Whipp's time spent on research is supported by the Eli Lilly and Company Fellowship in Pharmaceutics, which supports individuals investigating complex disease states in the field of pharmaceutics. Whipp will join the ranks of recent College of Pharmacy recipients including current PhD student Josie Silvaroli and graduates Jingyue Yan, PhD ’23, and Ermias Addo, MS ’20, PhD ’21. 

Whipp is a member of Dr. Rosa Lapalombella’s Experimental Hematology Laboratory (EHL) at Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James).  

Since joining Dr. Lapalombella’s lab in 2019, Whipp has become a key contributor within the lab space and a mentor to high school and undergraduate students taking part in the Upward Bound and Hendrix Summer Research programs. 

Whipp's research investigates pathways critical to survival in Richter’s Transformation (RT), a fatal progression from chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) to an aggressive large cell lymphoma. Whipp notes in the abstract of his research proposal for the fellowship that despite the advancement of treatment for CLL (the most common form of adult leukemia), up to 10% of patients progress to RT, which holds a prognosis of 6-12 months. His research evaluates therapeutic mechanisms and efficacy with hopes to advance development of targeted therapeutics in RT.  

Throughout the course of Whipp’s fellowship, he will seek an understanding of techniques such as exome sequencing, CRISPR KO screens, seahorse metabolic screening and spectral flow cytometry. Dr. Lapalombella will continue to mentor Whipp and provide any necessary support to the research project. 

“Ethan’s effort has greatly surpassed my expectations,” Dr. Lapalombella said in her nomination letter. “He is one of the most promising future scientists I have mentored. I have no doubt that he will make significant contributions to our research community and his efforts will enhance the lives of cancer patients.” 

PhD news, Research