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Office of Academic Training and Outreach Programs Names Research Administration Fellows

Published on July 16, 2015 in Cornerstone Blog · Last updated 4 months 1 week ago


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The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute’s Office of Academic Training and Outreach Programs announced the selection of two new Research Administration fellows. Katherine Yang-Iott, a researcher and lab manager in the Division of Cancer Pathobiology, and Danika Johnston, PhD, a research associate in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, are the new 2015 Research Administration fellows.

The Research Administration Fellowship is a part-time, unpaid, six-month program that fellows complete concurrently with their research duties. The overall goal of the fellowship is to provide fellows with a broad overview of leadership in CHOP Research Administration with administrative directors in the fellows’ areas of interest.

Yang-Iott graduated from Virginia Tech in 2003 with a bachelor’s of science in biochemistry and a minor in chemistry. After school, she worked as a research associate at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals until moving to Philadelphia. Yang-Iott first came to Children’s Hospital in 2006.

Currently, she is a researcher and lab manager under Craig H. Bassing, PhD, where over the past year she has been learning and using a genome editing system to generate genetically modified mice for the Bassing lab. The lab’s main focus is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms through which the DNA damage response maintains genomic stability and suppresses transformations in cells during VDJ recombination (also known as antigen receptor gene rearrangement), class switch recombination, and DNA replication, Yang-Iott said.

In addition to working on her own research projects, she helps to maintain lab budgets, order supplies, and train new team members.

“My goal for this fellowship is to learn as much as I can about CHOP’s research administration,” Yang-Iott added. “I want to familiarize myself with how they are organized and how they operate and interact with each other to support the hospital’s research community. My intent is to transition away from working at the bench and into a position within Research Administration.”

The second new Research Administration fellow is Dr. Johnston. She graduated from Rutgers University with a bachelor’s of arts in biological science in 2002, and she received her doctorate in genetics in 2008. Dr. Johnston spent several years at Thomas Jefferson University studying the role of nuclear hormones receptors in transcriptional regulation prior to coming to the Children’s Hospital in 2014. She is studying the functional significance of SNPs in the 3’ UTR of IGF1R, which may allow prospective stratification of patients enrolled in clinical trials of IGF1R inhibitors. The main impact of her work is the improvement of neuroblastoma treatments.

“During this fellowship, I hope to increase my knowledge and understanding of Research Administration, as well as learn more about this complex network of units that aid in research and discovery,” Dr. Johnston said. “I also hope to learn some new skills and determine whether a job in Research Administration will be the next step on my career path. I intend to meet with as many administrative directors as possible during this process and find a project that will not only increase my skill set, but [also] provide valuable assistance to the department.”

Both recipients of the fellowship are extremely honored to have the opportunity to work with administrative directors and learn more about the Research Institute’s administrative support for investigators. To learn more about the CHOP Research Administration Fellowship and how to apply, see the CHOP Research training site.