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:  2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015

2024 Spotlights

Chloe Couderc

May 2024

In my current role, I serve as a laboratory assistant in the Gorbunova lab. My responsibilities include helping lab members conduct their research, managing undergraduate student employees, engaging in vivarium and annex operations, and undertaking various additional duties in the lab.

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Kevin Deem

April 2024

I am currently researching how aphids produce wingless offspring in different ways, and how that might be important for our understanding of morphological evolution. Asexual females produce wingless daughters in response to their environment. We think sexual males evolved a similar wingless phenotype using part of the same genetic pathway, but without input from the environment. Determining how this may have happened has important implications for our understanding of the origins of novel phenotypes and morphological diversity. 

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Anushka Jain

March 2024

I am a second year PhD student with Prof. Sina Ghaemmaghami. I am currently trying to establish single cell proteomics (SCP) in the lab, with the help of Mass Spec Resource lab at URMC. Single cell proteomics will help us capture the cellular heterogeneity that often gets lost when working with bulk amounts. We eventually plan on studying protein turnover using SCP.

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Brian Jencik

February 2024

I grew up in a neighborhood with wetland trails running through it, and I spent a lot of time there growing up. Being around wilderness like that most of my life led to an interest in life sciences.

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Jennifer Leigh

January 2024

I work full time as a technician in Dr. Robert Dirksen’s lab in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology at the Medical Center, and am also a part time graduate student pursuing a Master’s degree through the Department of Biology. My lab studies the calcium dynamics and excitation-contraction coupling mechanisms that control skeletal muscle function, as well as the myopathies that arise when abnormalities in these processes occur. My project focuses on a disease called Tubular Aggregate Myopathy (TAM) that arises from mutations in proteins called Stim1 and Orai1 that are involved in Store Operated Calcium Entry. I am working on characterizing the Mitochondrial dysfunction in our G100S mouse model of TAM through quantitative assays as well as assessing their function through respiratory studies. 

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