Jasmine Siler

Graduate Student, The Bi Lab

You work in a lab.  What are you currently researching?

I am a fourth-year graduate student in the Xin Bi laboratory.  I am studying the chromatin remodeler Fun30 in budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.  Recent studies revealed a role of Fun30 in the resection of double stranded DNA breaks as part of homologous recombination.  We have shown that Fun30 contributes to cellular tolerance to genotoxins that stall the progression of DNA replication.  I am currently investigating the function of Fun30 in DNA damage tolerance pathways. 

What was it that originally sparked your interest in Biology?

To be honest, I struggled with my science courses in school, and therefore had a bit of a “science phobia” going into my undergraduate studies.  I floated a bit during my first two years of undergrad, not really knowing what I wanted to major in because nothing really excited me.  Eventually I was forced to take an introductory biology course.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that I finally understood the lectures and really enjoyed them.  I declared biology as my major and never looked back.

What do you enjoy most about working here at the U of R?

I like the wide diversity amongst the labs here.  There is such a great variety of research interests at U of R.

What advice would you give to prospective students looking to study in our department?

Make sure that you truly enjoy whatever you decide to study.  Science is a lot of hard work and patience.  If the questions you are asking really fascinate you, then it becomes a fun challenge to search for answers. 

What’s the most important thing that you’ve learned working here and/or studying Biology?

I’ve learned to treat every mistake or set back as a learning experience and an opportunity to do better in the future.  I’m also learning to speak up more often when I have a thought or idea.  Your input is valuable, so don’t keep it to yourself!