Faith Okamoto recognized as outstanding research undergraduate with two recent honors!

Congratulations, Faith!

Recipient of the Gabriele Wienhausen Biological Sciences Scholarship for 2023-2024 at UC San Diego and a second runner-up for the 2023 Triton Student Employee of the Year Award!

Undergraduate and member of Palmer Lab, Faith Okamoto, has received the Gabriele Wienhausen Biological Sciences Scholarship for the upcoming 2023-2024 academic year at UC San Diego. The highly-competitive award is open to Biological Sciences majors and promotes engagement in community service, leadership, and research by supporting students' participation in experiential learning opportunities on and off the UC San Diego campus.

For almost a year, Faith has worked part-time at Palmer Lab as an undergraduate research student while taking classes at UC San Diego. In this time, she has proven herself to be an outstanding student and demonstrated her passion and dedication to genetic and bioinformatics research under Dr. Palmer’s supervision. In addition to her scholarship, Faith was recently recognized as a second runner-up for the 2023 Triton Student Employee of the Year Award!

One of Faith's major achievements was streamlining the sample-tracking workflow for Palmer Lab’s genotyping samples. She was responsible for updating the inventory in the database and ensuring that all samples were tracked accurately.

Faith also helped generate a report on genetic analysis for one of our lab members and ran a simulation study to investigate the effect of quantile normalization on phenotypes with large proportions of identical values. She also ran a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to explore the effect of different bioinformatics pipelines on the genotypes produced for the analysis. In addition, Faith has assisted lab members in installing bioinformatics software on the High-Performance Computing Cluster.

In the upcoming 2023-2024 academic year, Faith will be investigating the heterogeneous stock rats founder haplotypes lost because of genetic drift. We have no doubt that she will tackle this project with the same level of enthusiasm and commitment that she has demonstrated in all her previous work.

Faith is an exceptional student who is not only hardworking but also curious, creative, and resourceful. Her analytical skills, attention to detail, and ability to figure out steps involved in genetic and bioinformatics analysis are a testament to her potential as a future researcher who will continue to make significant contributions to the field.

Congratulations, Faith! We're proud of you!

More information:

UC San Diego Continuing Undergraduate Scholarships - list of Merit Scholarships and Restricted Scholarships

Gabriele Wienhausen Biological Science Scholarship - history, details, and application information

UC San Diego Student Employment Office - work-study awards, working on or off campus

UC San Diego Undergraduate Research Opportunities - School of Biological Sciences