Doctoral student Jordanna Jayne is the recipient of the 2018-2019 Charles and Charlotte Krown Fellowship, the most prestigious award given to graduate students in the USC School of Pharmacy.

Originally from the United Kingdom, Jayne is working in the lab of Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacy Paul Beringer, PharmD, chair of the Titus Department of Clinical Pharmacy, to investigate new potential treatments for cystic fibrosis lung disease.

Beringer noted that Jayne has published several manuscripts, including as a first author, and called her an “excellent mentor” to other graduate students in the lab. He praised Jayne for her leadership skills and also noted that she tutors underprivileged children while juggling a full plate of research, student organization activities and coursework. “Receiving the Krown Fellowship is a testament to Jordanna’s unique qualities,” Beringer said.

Her research focuses on investigating the effects of the antimicrobial peptide Rhesus Theta Defensin-1 (RTD-1) within the context of cystic fibrosis lung disease, a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time.

“I wanted to work on something impactful,” Jayne said of the research. “I’ve always wanted to be involved in something that could have a health care outcome, and have the endpoint be that I contributed something that might improve somebody else’s life.”

The school’s close clinical ties to Keck Hospital of USC has further spurred on her work by giving her the opportunity to meet patients while collecting clinical samples.

Interacting with patients and their families “helps you know exactly whom you’re trying to help,” Jayne said.

Throughout Jayne’s time at USC, she has been matched with mentors who have guided her to the next steps in her career. As president of the Los Angeles chapter of Graduate Women in Science, Jayne has secured funding for conferences and networking events, an accomplishment she said her mentors have helped her achieve.

“That kind of epitomizes the Trojan Family for me, and how incredibly supportive people can be,” Jayne said.

After graduating in May 2019 with a PhD in clinical and experimental therapeutics, as well as a master’s degree in drug development, Jayne plans to transition into industry and pursue a career in regulatory affairs.

Before beginning the program at USC in the fall of 2014, Jayne completed a bachelor’s degree at the University of Birmingham (U.K.) and a master’s degree at Cardiff University (U.K.).

The Krown Fellowship is the most prestigious award given to graduate students in the USC School of Pharmacy. The fellowship carries a $5,000 stipend, plus an additional $5,000 allowance that can be used toward travel or educational and research materials.

— Michele Keller