University of Georgia student selected to meet Nobel laureates in Germany

University of Georgia student selected to meet Nobel laureates in Germany

Athens, Ga. – Elizabeth Rahn, a psychology graduate student at the University of Georgia, was selected by Oak Ridge Associated Universities as one of 10 outstanding research participants to attend the 57th Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates and Students in Lindau, Germany, July 1-6.

Since 1951, Nobel laureates in chemistry, physics and physiology/medicine have annually convened in Lindau to conduct open informal meetings with students and young researchers from around the world. This year’s event, which traditionally rotates by discipline each year, will focus on physiology and medicine.

Rahn is a second-year graduate student in the laboratory of Andrea Hohmann in the neuroscience and behavior program of UGA’s department of psychology. She won a national competition to meet the Nobel laureates and has earned several other national honors for research she has conducted in Hohmann’s laboratory.

“I was ecstatic to learn of my selection as one of the 10 ORAU fellowship recipients,” said Rahn. “The annual meeting with the Nobel laureates will provide all of the participants with the opportunity to rub elbows with some of the greatest minds of our time. Research is a rollercoaster highlighted by incredible new discoveries and shadowed by low points where experiments fail to yield data. It will be both fascinating and beneficial to learn what motivates these researchers day in and day out, through the successes and the failures. In their unyielding pursuit of scientific truth they provide a model for all researchers. I am honored to represent my university and my country as a delegate at this year’s meeting.”

A native of Muscle Shoals, Ala., Rahn received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Auburn University in 2005. While at Auburn she received funding at the university and national levels for her work on learning and memory. She began work as a graduate student in Hohmann’s lab in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences in the fall of 2005 and earned her master’s degree in December 2006. She has received five grants during her tenure at UGA to fund work on chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain and its modulation with cannabinoids, synthetic cannabis-like compounds. She and Hohmann and have recently had a paper on this topic accepted for publication in the British Journal of Pharmacology.

ORAU’s participants will join 39 other students to represent the United States and more than 500 other international students at the meeting. The other students representing the United States are sponsored by Mars, Inc., the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

During the meeting, the laureates will lecture in the mornings on the topic of their choice related to physiology and medicine and participate in less formal small group discussions with the students in the afternoons and some evenings.

Travel arrangements for all participants are being administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, which is managed by ORAU for DOE.

ORISE is a U.S. Department of Energy facility focusing on scientific initiatives to research health risks from occupational hazards, assess environmental cleanup, respond to radiation medical emergencies, support national security and emergency preparedness and educate the next generation of scientists. ORISE is managed by ORAU.