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Indiana University Bloomington

Department of Biology

Alumni & Development

Walter Konetzka Fellowship

Bitan Mohari
Bitan Mohari | Courtesy photo

Bitan Mohari
2015 Konetzka Fellow

Bitan Mohari was a member of Clay Fuqua’s lab. Bitan’s research project focused on the understudied mechanism of flagellar motility for the plant pathogen Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Her empirical data provided the groundwork for a biophysical model of bacterial motility developed in collaboration with IU physicist Sima Setayeshgar. An excellent teacher, Bitan taught for many years at IU – including L 112 Biological Mechanisms, M 315 Microbiology Laboratory, M 350 Microbial Physiology and Biochemistry, and Z 469 Endocrinology Laboratory. She has run independent learning groups and is praised for her clarity of presentations and her approachable character. Bitan is now a Post Doctoral Research Associate at the University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign. She's had three recent publications, a first authorship in Mbio and two coauthorships in Frontiers in Plant Science and Biophysical Journal.



Jolene Ramsey
Jolene Ramsey | Courtesy photo

Jolene Ramsey
2015 Konetzka Fellow

Jolene Ramsey is a member of Tuli Mukhopadhyay’s lab. Jolene’s research focuses on enveloped virus assembly and exit at the molecular level. She is a fabulous teacher both in the research lab and in the classroom. As an associate instructor, Jolene has taught the upper-level microbiology lab course M 435 Virology & Tissue Culture Laboratory, L 321 Principles of Immunology, Q 201 Biology for Elementary Educators, and L 211 Molecular Biology. Her father’s family is from Mexico and, starting as a research technician before entering graduate school, she has maintained a strong presence in the local Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science chapters.



Brian Rutter
Brian Rutter | Courtesy photo

Brian Rutter
2015 Konetzka Fellow

Brian Rutter is a member of Roger Innes lab. Brian’s research is focused on the biogenesis and function of extracellular vesicles in plants, particularly in the context of the plant immune response. He has uncovered a fundamental new aspect of plant biology while researching exosomes in plants, which in mammalian cells carry miRNAs and play a central role in cell signaling. There is no indication that other labs have investigated whether exosomes in plants carry miRNAs or what their functions are.



About the Konetzka Fellowship

The Konetzka Fellowship is open to Department of Biology graduate students. First preference is given to graduate students in microbiology with superb teaching abilities and strong research skills. This award typically goes to students who have passed their prelims and have demonstrated significant progress with their dissertation research. Second preference is given to graduate students majoring in Genome, Cell, and Developmental Biology or Genetics if their research is in the area of microbiology and they have the requisite teaching skills.

This endowed fellowship was established by family, friends, colleagues, and former students to honor a beloved researcher, administrator, and teacher.

Read about the Konetzka Fellowship requirements »

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