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Trent Lab Earns NSF GRFP Award and Honorable Mention

2024 GRFP

The Microbiology Department is pleased to announce that the National Science Foundation (NSF) recognized Alejandro Pereira and Jerry Enverso for their excellent NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) proposals. Alejandro Pereira has been selected to receive the prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, and Jerry Enverso received an honorable mention. The NSF GRFP recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines (STEM) who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees. 

Both Alejandro and Jerry are in the Trent laboratory where they study the bacterial cell envelope, particularly how the Gram-negative outer membrane is synthesized and maintained. Since the outer membrane acts as an excellent barrier against many antibiotics, investigating membrane homeostasis provides the foundation to develop clinically relevant antimicrobials. 

Jerry Enverso studied microbiology at Clemson University, where he began researching growth and flagellar motility in African trypanosomes. Throughout his studies, he developed a passion for understanding multi-drug resistance in bacteria, which he pursues in his current research. Jerry investigates mechanisms of resistance to antibiotics that directly target the synthesis of lipopolysaccharide, an essential molecule found on the surface of Gram-negative bacteria.  

Alejandro studied Biology and Psychology at the University of Florida. While there, he would research the inheritance patterns of Arachis hypogaea. He pursued research experiences at NSF and NIH-sponsored internships focusing on pathogenic microbes to broaden his research interest. Now, Alejandro studies the regulation and localization of a major glycerophospholipid and how lipid composition influences bacterial fitness.   

Alejandro Pereira and Jerry Enverso are doctoral students in microbiology in the group of Dr. M. Stephen Trent. 

As the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, the GRFP has a long history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers. The reputation of the GRFP follows recipients and often helps them become life-long leaders that contribute significantly to both scientific innovation and teaching. 

Congratulations Alejandro and Jerry! 

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