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Blair Benham-Pyle

Class of 2010-2011

About Blair

as of 2/2010: Prior to starting her year on the Luce Scholarship. Dr. Blair Benham-Pyle received a joint B.S./M.S. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University, where she was a member of the Scott Strobel and Michael Cappello Research groups and ipursued a collaborative project analyzing the diversity and bioactivity of Rainforest Endophytes. She participated in a group expedition to Ecuador in March 2008 and then analyzed the potential of rainforest endophytes as sources of novel antibiotics and anthelmintics. Through her research, she discovered a novel genus of fungus producing molecules active against drug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus and identified organisms producing molecules active against Ancylostoma ceylanicum – a laboratory strain of Hookworm Disease. Outside of the laboratory, she was an outside-hitter for the Yale Women’s ClubVolleyball team, the Co-Director and Co-Founder of the Bioethics Society at Yale, and a Freshmen Counselor to the Yale Class of 2013. She has also served as a staff photographer for the Yale Daily News. Before attending Yale, she lived with her parents in Woodbury, Minnesota and graduated from Mounds Park Academy in 2006. While in Minnesota, Blair enjoyed volleyball, track and field, singing in her school choirs, and playing the flute in her high school band.
Since completing her Luce Placement at the Institute of Developmental Biology and Molecular Medicine at Fudan University, Dr. Benham-Pyle received her PhD in Cancer Biology from Stanford University. While at Stanford and funded by the NSF graduate research fellowship and the Stanford Lieberman fellowship, Dr. Benham-Pyle led a project that explored mechanical signaling in skin cells. She is now a Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellow at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research and is pursuing several projects investigating aging and regeneration in planarian flatworms. Outside of research, she continues to enjoy volleyball, as well as mentoring young scientists and exploring the interface of science, business, and society.

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