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 …

IPiB Thesis Defense Oct. 28: Jessica Cardenas

Plants go through different stages of development that are modulated by different types of signals. Some signals come from within the plants themselves, while others, such as environmental stressors, a plant can only respond to. Phytohormones, “plant hormones” that arise from a plant’s metabolic activities, help integrate external signals into a plant’s growth and development. …

IPiB Thesis Defense Nov 4: Katarzyna Dubiel

The lab of Professor Jim Keck is broadly interested in bacterial genome maintenance, and IPiB student Katarzyna (Kasia) Dubiel focused her Ph.D. research on single-stranded DNA-binding proteins (SSBs), which play a major role in this process. In order for DNA replication and repair to occur, double-stranded DNA must be separated into single strands. Single-stranded DNA …

IPiB Thesis Defense Oct. 18: Samantha Anderson

Membrane proteins are notoriously difficult to study. It’s why scientists have turned to computational methods to try to predict their characteristics. For her thesis research, Samantha Anderson of the Senes Lab investigated a specific motif — a short sequence common among membrane proteins — and how it impacts the way membrane proteins interact with each …

IPiB Thesis Defense Oct. 4: Thao Nguyen

One project in the lab of IPiB faculty member Michael R. Sussman investigates a proton pump present in plant and fungal cells. The pump converts the chemical energy of ATP into an electrical and chemical gradient of protons known as a proton motive force as it moves protons to the outside of the cell. This …

IPiB Thesis Defense Oct. 4: Hugo Medina-Munoz

The lab of biochemistry professor Marvin Wickens studies how RNA molecules are controlled and interact with proteins. While RNA is the intermediary between DNA and proteins, it is not just a simple default: instead, RNA stability, translation and location all are regulated. Being able to define where RNAs are in a cell, across all the …