Stowers intern Andrei Kucharavy wins “Grand Prix de Stage de Recherche de l’Ecole Polytechnique”

Andrei Kucharavy, a bioinformatics student at the prestigious L’Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, France, has been selected to receive the Grand Prix de Stage de Recherche de l’Ecole Polytechnique for the work he performed during his three-month summer internship at the Stowers Institute. The honorary award is given annually to six students who performed exceptional interdisciplinary work during their research internships.

During his time at the Stowers Institute, Kucharavy worked closely with Arcady Mushegian, PhD, head of bioinformatics research, to probe the genomes of close relatives of Mycoplasma genitalium, the microbe that Mushegian had used as the starting point to determine the smallest set of genes an organism needs to survive in an experimental environment.

“Ecole Polytechnique students are known for their excellent training in science and mathematics, but Andrei exceeded all expectations,” said Mushegian. “I am sure we will hear more about his successes in the near future.”

Kucharavy also worked with research advisors Jay Unruh, PhD, and Boris Rubinstein, PhD, on developing a simulation of cell division mechanisms in budding yeast in collaboration with members of Rong Li’s lab.

“The team spirit at Stowers was really great. Never before have I seen a place where the collaboration among scientists was so easy and where ideas circulated so rapidly and easily,” says Kucharavy, who also fondly recalls the daily sustenance provided by the Stowers cafeteria’s breakfast burritos.