IPiB Thesis Defense Oct. 5: Nathaniel Kuch

If you’ve heard of bioethanol or biodiesel, you’ve heard about a biofuel. Adopting biofuels, which are fuels produced directly from plants or biowastes, can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And as IPiB graduate student Nathaniel Kuch explains, converting plants into biofuels begins with understanding how to break plants down into sugars. Kuch’s Ph.D. research in …

IPiB Thesis Defense August 18: Aryel Clarke

Aryel Clarke’s Ph.D. research focuses on a group of proteins that help maintain and remodel cellular membranes. Clarke, an IPiB graduate student in biomolecular chemistry professor Jon Audhya’s lab, says that part of what drew her to membrane remodeling was how little we know about this critical cellular function. “That we know so much about …

IPiB Thesis Defense June 17: Josie Mitchell

Sensory neurons help us sense external stimuli and transform these stimuli into messages that are communicated to the brain. The structure of a sensory neuron influences its receptive field and is thus important to how it functions. During Josephine Mitchell’s time as a Ph.D. student in the Integrated Program in Biochemistry (IPiB), she studied how …

IPiB Thesis Defense April 27: Elizabeth Larson

Immediately following fertilization, the genome undergoes a monumental feat — it’s reprogrammed to allow specialized germ cells to transition to an early embryo. This process requires DNA genome remodeling to enable the expression of a new set of genes. The remodeling process requires specialized proteins known as pioneer transcription factors. The pioneering transcription factor Zelda …

IPiB Thesis Defense June 23: Jennifer Peotter

Hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) is a group of inherited neurologic disorders that cause weakness and stiffness in the leg muscles. Defects in membrane trafficking can contribute to HSP and other neurodegenerative diseases. For her Ph.D. research, IPiB graduate student Jennifer Peotter focused on a critical protein, TFG, that’s been shown to be mutated in patients …

IPiB Thesis Defense Dec. 14: Adam Lewis

Ion channels provide passageways through which charged ions can cross cellular membranes. Some ion channels allow only one type of ion through, while others, called nonselective ion channels, allow multiple types of ions to cross. IPiB graduate student Adam Lewis used nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to study how the NaK ion channel adapts its …

IPiB Thesis Defense Nov. 15: Kanika Jain

Damage to DNA during its replication can be caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation, drugs, internal factors, and more. Typically, repair proteins come to the rescue. These proteins scan the genome and remove damage and errors. In certain cases, though, DNA damage accumulates, leading to mutations and then conditions like cancers, neurodegenerative diseases and aging …

IPiB Thesis Defense Nov. 4: Tina Lynch

As a graduate student in the Integrated Program in Biochemistry (IPiB), Tina Lynch studied germline stem cells, the cells that ultimately produce sperm and eggs, in roundworms. Lynch, a member of the Kimble Lab, was particularly interested in how these cells cluster: too many or too few germline stem cells in a cluster, and tissues …