The Spotlight series was created in 2009 as a way of building camaraderie in our department and as a way of communicating our unique departmental culture to prospective students and visitors. Featuring current graduate students, postdoctoral associates, technical staff, and administrative staff it showcases the broad interests and talent of our many department members. In April of 2015, we launched our first online version.

Archives:  2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015

2022 Spotlights

Maxwell Zacher

June 2022

I study mechanisms of cancer resistance and longevity in long-living mammal species, particularly the bowhead whale. My focus is on tumor suppressors, DNA repair, and genomic stability.

Continue reading

Diego Ocampo

May 2022

I am currently studying the patterns of divergence in genomic, morphometric, and behavioral traits between different populations of a Neotropical bird species, and how birds of different populations interact and maybe hybridize in areas in which they get into secondary contact. In short, my research explores the role of variation in plumage color and song in driving the processes of hybridization/diversification that could lead to the formation of new species.

Continue reading

Chenghong Deng

April 2022

I am rotating in Dr. Caripizo’s lab. I am working to understand pancreatic cancer. The pancreas is one of the most common places to spread cancer and pancreatic cancer is an aggressive cancer. 

Continue reading

Patricia DiGiorgio

March 2022

I work as the Graduate Program Coordinator.

Continue reading

Matthew Lindsay

February 2022

I study meiotic drivers -- selfish genetic elements that are able to unfairly bias inheritance so that they are inherited far more often than they should be, and spread through populations. My research focusses on investigating which factors allow a meiotic driver to spread through a population, or how populations are able to stop selfish drivers from spreading. I specifically study the Segregation Distorter meiotic drive system in Drosophila melanogaster, using genetic engineering and large-scale fly experiments to investigate what stops populations from evolving immunity to the selfish Segregation Distorter.

Continue reading

Anne Benraiss

January 2022

I am currently working in the Bergstralh Lab, studying spindle orientation in Drosophila epithelial cells. When cells divide, a group of proteins guide the mitotic spindle into its correct position. We seek to understand how these proteins work together to attain this position in epithelial tissues, where cells divide symmetrically to give rise to two identical daughter cells.

Continue reading