Katherine Parish

Graduate Student, The Samuelson Lab

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

I work in the Samuelson Lab, where we study aging and longevity in C.elegans. I’m personally researching SUMOylation modification of transcription factors with respect to aging through the heat shock response pathway. I’m also looking at the accumulation of methylation marks at stress loci in conjunction with SUMO modification as a barrier switch function.

What was it that originally sparked your interest in biology?

Would you believe me if I told you that my interest in biology was first peaked in kindergarten? One of my kindergarten teachers would sit down and answer any and all questions about the less poisonous insects and animals that we brought to her. More often than not they’d wind up in our classroom and since most of them were butterflies or frogs, I’d push my face up to the glass container to spot the first moment that morphogenesis started to occur. I probably fell in love with biology then.

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

The environment. It is friendly in the sense that people and labs are always interacting with one another in a way that is not only conducive to research, but also for learning new techniques. It is also friendly in the traditional sense. 

How do you unwind when you’re not in the lab? 

When I’m really trying to relax, I’ll often knit scarves… and only scarves and caps because anything else takes too much yarn, which means I’ll start hoarding yarn that I won’t use. I don’t really draw per say, but I have a pattern book, which is where I draw patterns in ink from anything from a bookmark to a cover. On occasion, I also write and am a fan of creating Dungeons and Dragons campaigns.

What is one thing about yourself that you’d like more people to know?

I’m joining the Rochester Knitting Guild this fall to community-knit chemo caps for the Erna’s Hope Organization.