Graduate Student Amanda Lanza Awarded $15,000 in Research Funding

Graduate student Amanda LanzaGraduate student Amanda Lanza has been given a Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O) Scholar Award, a $15,000 merit-based award for women pursuing doctoral degrees in the United States and Canada.

“I feel very honored to have been selected,” said Lanza. “This is a very generous philanthropic organization with an admirable mission doing excellent work to support young women and their educational goals.  I am looking forward to getting to know the women in the Austin R Chapter, who nominated me and are very inspirational.”

Recipients of the award are considered to have the potential to make significant contributions to their field, and were chosen based on research descriptions, faculty recommendations, past awards and honors and scholarly activities.  They are expected to use the awarded funds to continue their education and research.

Lanza is advised by Professor Hal Alper and works in the Laboratory for Cellular and Metabolic Engineering.  She focuses on new tools for the stable transfection of mammalian cells as well as the ability to target locations in the genome with high transcriptional activity, which has applications in biotechnology and medicine, such as the treatment of genetic disorders and understanding cellular aging.

“Amanda establishes herself as a leader not only in the laboratory but also within the department,” said Alper.  “Over the past few years, she has helped coordinate many activities from graduate recruiting to seminars for female graduate students. It is clear that she is a talented student who will continue to make our department and university proud.”

Lanza received her B.S. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 2008-2011 she received research funding from a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship.  She is currently supported by the Donald D. Harrington Dissertation Fellowship which is the highest award that can be given to a continuing student at The University of Texas at Austin.

About the P.E.O.:

P.E.O. is a philanthropic organization where women celebrate the advancement of women and educate women through scholarships, grants, awards, loans, and more.  Since 1869, the P.E.O. has been working to motivate women to achieve their highest aspirations.  The organization has almost a quarter of a million members in chapters throughout the U.S. and Canada, with headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa.  They have given more than $14 million in scholar awards since 1991.

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