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Keffy Kehrli: 2017 NSF Graduate Research Fellow

Keffy Kehrli
Keffy Kehrli

Keffy Kehrli

Grad program: Genetics
Undergrad: BS in Physics and BA in Linguistics, Western Washington University
Hometown: Mount Vernon, WA
Advisor: Joshua Rest

What is your research focus, and how might your research change the world?
My research focuses on gene expression data, especially RNA-seq data sets. These studies are expensive to carry out and do not always have the statistical power to detect changes in genes that aren’t very highly expressed. By combining a number of different gene expression studies, I hope to have enough power to detect changes in non-coding RNA that is not expressed at high levels, but may play important gene regulatory roles.

How does it feel to earn this fellowship, and how will this fellowship enhance your research?
Encouraging! I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I’d been awarded the fellowship, since I have a tendency to worry that my research isn’t interesting enough to people who aren’t me.

What advice can you share with other students applying for the NSF GRF?
Although your scientific thought processes and ability to do research are essential, it’s also good to share what makes you a unique. Don’t be afraid to let the reviewers know what you will bring to your project and field as an individual.

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