The American Association of University Women (AAUW) has awarded a 2021-22 American Fellowship to University of Iowa student Mallory Tollefson.
Tollefson, a native of Indianola, Iowa, is pursuing a Ph.D. in Computational Biophysics and is an Iowa Technology Institute research assistant in the Computational Biomolecular Engineering Lab, under the direction of Michael J. Schnieders, associate professor of biomedical engineering and biochemistry.
American Fellowships, AAUW’s oldest and largest funding program, date back to 1888 and support women scholars who are completing doctoral dissertations, conducting postdoctoral research, or finishing research for publication.
Tollefson’s work focuses on novel simulation techniques for protein folding and genetic variant analysis. Furthermore, her research includes developing a machine learning method for protein structure prediction. By combining her method with molecular dynamics simulations, she will be able to develop novel protein structures that will be used to analyze genetic variants that cause deafness.
For the 2021-22 academic year, AAUW awarded a total of $5 million through its fellowships and grants programs to 260 scholars and community projects and programs that promote education and equity for women and girls.
Upon completion of her Ph.D., Tollefson wants to continue research and teaching at an academic institution.
The AAUW empowers women and girls through research, education, and advocacy. The nonprofit organization has more than 170,000 members and supporters across the country, as well as 1,000 local branches and more than 800 college and university members.