Arts & Sciences, Graduate & Professional Studies

Marquette graduate student wins People’s Choice Award in The Science Coalition video challenge 

Claire Radtke, a graduate student in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biological Sciences, has won the People’s Choice Award and taken third place in the graduate student division of The Science Coalition’s annual “Fund It Forward” video competition. 

The “Fund It Forward” competition encourages undergraduate and graduate researchers to spread the word about why science matters. Radtke’s video submission stressed the importance of federal funding to both scientific discovery and continued research. 

“With funding from the NIH and NSF, our research field has discovered a cellular safeguarding system to prevent unfolding, but this system fails with age,” Radtke says in her video. “As the population ages, understanding this safeguarding system becomes critical. We are working to protect your health and we hope Congress does to.” 

Radtke’s research is done as part of the lab of Dr. Anita Manogaran, associate professor of biological sciences, which is being funded by the National Institutes of Health. Manogaran also received a $950,000 grant from the National Science Foundation last year to address fundamental questions about how cells respond to and manage misfolded and aggregating proteins. Diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or amyloidosis are aging disorders that are linked to misfolded, aggregated proteins in tissues such as the brain or heart. 

“Claire’s dissertation work has huge implications for human health,” Manogaran said. “Understanding the key factors that help cells manage damaging proteins can help us design therapeutic targets to treat these devastating diseases in the future. Funds from agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health, are critical to our work here at Marquette. Claire has done an amazing job of underscoring the importance of both her work and investment by these agencies.” 

As both the People’s Choice recipient and the third-place finisher, Radtke receives a financial prize. Her video remains posted on The Science Coalition website as a reminder that federal funding for research is critical for human health. 

The Science Coalition is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of more than 50 of the nation’s leading public and private research universities, of which Marquette is a member. It is dedicated to sustaining the federal government’s investment in fundamental scientific research as a means to stimulate the economy, spur innovation and drive American competitiveness.