Jonathan Gigas

Graduate Student, The Gorbunova Lab

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

I work in the Gorbunova/Seluanov lab where we study mechanisms of aging. I work on a protein called Sirtuin6 and its role in human aging by studying a variant found in people who’ve lived over 100 years.

What was it that originally sparked your interest in biology?

I’ve always thought it amazing that somehow living things can take the same materials that the Earth is made from and turn them into the creatures we see every day. The processes that living things rely on are astoundingly complex and yet also everywhere. Life is as common as dirt and yet we still have so much to learn about it. 

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

I’ve learned that the more you learn about something the more you realize how little you know. When I started at U of R I thought I knew a lot about molecular biology. Now that I’ve learned more, I have a better understanding of the limits of my knowledge. It’s important to be comfortable saying “I don’t know”.

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

I love being at U of R because it’s a comfortable environment for me. People here treat each other well and it’s easy to find help when you need it. I also appreciate the amount of green space in the city and how easy it is to get around.

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

I love hanging out in the city parks! Spending time outdoors makes me happy and that’s easy to do here.