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Chemistry Postdoctoral Researchers named Eberly Fellows
2 August 2019

The Department of Chemistry is pleased to announce that three of its incoming postdoctoral researchers have been named recipients of the Eberly Postdoctoral Fellowship. The fellowships will be presented to Dr. Jane Frandsen, Dr. Shalisa Oburn, and Dr. Yubing Liu.

Eberly Postdoctoral Fellowships are designed to attract exceptional early career scientists to Penn State to enhance their career goals in the vibrant, highly collaborative environment of the Eberly College of Science and the broader STEM community of Penn State University.

Dr. Frandsen comes to Penn State from the Ohio State University, where she recently completed her doctoral degree in the lab of Professor Tina Henkin. Dr. Frandsen’s graduate research focused on the regulation of gene expression by the T box riboswitch, an RNA-based regulatory mechanism that responds to amino acid limitation. Dr. Frandsen plans to join the Bevilacqua group at Penn State, where she will investigate bacterial small RNA (sRNA)-induced structural changes in mRNAs in vivo in collaboration with the Babitzke and Assmann groups in the departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Biology.  In addition to her work in the lab, Frandsen plans to pursue her passion for undergraduate education through teaching and professional development activities. She notes that the Eberly Fellowship will support this important work. “The Eberly fellowship will not only help me to develop my research skills,” she explains, “but will also allow me to develop the teaching skills necessary for my desired career.”


Dr. Jane Frandsen

Dr. Oburn comes to Penn State from the University of Iowa, where her dissertation research primarily focused on using concepts in supramolecular chemistry and crystal engineering to achieve reactivity in the solid state, design new arrangements of molecular constituents (polymorphs), and develop structure-property relationships of solids based on molecular functionalities. At Penn State, she will be joining the Elacqua group and plans to apply concepts in supramolecular chemistry to arrange candidate molecules for synthesis of nanothreads with diverse functionalities, and, consequently, physical properties. She notes that the Eberly Fellowship will “provide the resources necessary for me to branch out of supramolecular chemistry into a new and emerging area of research, wherein I can still apply knowledge from the field of supramolecular chemistry to other diverse sets of chemistry, including polymer chemistry.”


Dr. Shalisa Oburn

Dr. Liu comes to Penn State from the Peking University of China, where she completed her doctoral degree in the lab of Professor Xiaochen Wang. During her graduate studies, she found that autophagy-dependent ribosomal RNA degradation is essential for maintaining nucleotide homeostasis during C. elegans development. She is currently a member of the Benkovic and Zhang groups and plans to investigate the regulation mechanism of nucleotide homeostasis in mammalian cells. “I am particularly interested in studying how nucleotide homeostasis is maintained under physiology condition and how it is compromised under disease condition,” she notes. “I am excited to be here at Penn State, and I am honored to be named an Eberly Fellow,” adds Dr. Liu. She notes that the Eberly Fellowship will “support me and provide the resources to study the nucleotide metabolism combining biological and chemical means.”


Dr. Yubing Liu

Department of Chemistry Head Philip Bevilacqua notes that the incoming fellows will be important additions to the Penn State chemistry community, “We are pleased to have these outstanding postdoctoral fellows join the department and add to the diversity of our researchers.  The department is grateful to the College for their generosity.” Please join the Department of Chemistry in welcoming Dr. Frandsen, Dr. Oburn, and Dr. Liu.

Communications Coordinator