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UC Riverside graduate student awarded Guru Gobind Singh Fellowship
Date:7/31/2012

a large portion of the crop yield is destroyed because of fungi such as those that cause smut in maize, rust in wheat, blast in rice and wilt in tomato," she said. "Fungicides being used to kill these fungi are not very effective as they also damage the crops. Moreover, the fungi become tolerant to the fungicides after a while. Antifungal drugs that specifically kill the fungi without harming the plants are a better option."

Sain believes her work at UCR will lead to the development of alternative targets for antifungal drugs against fungi, including those that cause athlete's foot, oral thrush or mucormycosis (a fungal infection of the sinuses, brain or lungs) in humans.

"A knowledge-based approach to drug design is more effective and less time-consuming than the random chemical screening that most antifungal drug companies currently employ," she said.

At UCR, Sain mentors two undergraduates in the Stajich Lab. A member of the Rotaract Club (the youth branch of the Rotary Club) and Omicron Delta Kappa, she received the UCR Graduate Division Fellowship in 2008 and a Klotz Memorial Travel Award in 2011.

"Divya has shown incredible drive to master the experimental and computational approaches that enable her research and has applied these to studies in the biology and evolution of fungal cell walls," Stajich said. "She has been an asset to the laboratory in her team approach to performing this research and has been an important model to the students and postdocs who joined the lab after her. Her current work will lead to at least three publications. She is an intelligent and hard working student deserving of the honor and opportunity of the Guru Gobind Singh Fellowship."

The Guru Gobind Singh Fellowship is awarded each year after a UC systemwide competition. In 1988, UC Santa Cruz received a bequest from the late Mr. Karam Singh Maughan to establish an endowme
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Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
iqbal@ucr.edu
951-827-6050
University of California - Riverside
Source:Eurekalert  

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