Students and experiments

BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES GRADUATE PROGRAM

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Since entering the Biological Sciences Graduate Program, our students have conducted significant research, attended and presented at national conferences, and have received awards to honor their accomplishments. Below is a summery of our current students' activities and successes during their time at here Marquette University.


 

ANDERSON LAB

Yan Li

RESEARCH INTEREST

I’m studying the functions of Mtr4p as a component of TRAMP complex in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mtr4 plays an important role in nuclear RNA processing and turnover, that is dependent on ATP hydrolysis.

Yan Li
Enrolled Fall 2009
Biological Sciences 

B.S., Agricultural University of Hebei

 

Fengchao Wang

RESEARCH INTEREST

TRAMP is a three subunit complex involving RNA processing, surveillance and and degradation. My research interest is to characterize the TRAMP complex in mice by integrating data from RNA-Seq and other methods.

Fengchao Wang
Enrolled Fall 2011
Biological Sciences 

B.S., Qufu Normal University

 

Alexis Onderak

RESEARCH INTEREST

My research focuses on the role of the mammalian TRAMP complex in RNA surveillance. Specifically, I am working to characterize RNAs that are processed by the TRAMP complex to promote their degradation in mouse cells. 

Alexis Onderak
Enrolled Fall 2012
Biological Sciences 

B.S. Marquette University

 

 

ABBOTT LAB

Adele Gordon

RESEARCH INTEREST

Pacemaker activity, whether in the defecation motor program in C. elegans or the beating of the human heart, involves the rhythmic release of calcium. My research focuses on identifying the mechanism through which the microRNA, miR786, acts on target proteins, such as elo-2, to establish and maintain pacemaker activity in the posterior intestine of C. elegans.

Adele Gordon
Enrolled Fall 2012
Biological Sciences

B.S. Marquette University

 

Carmela Rios

RESEARCH INTEREST

I am working on the role of microRNAs in ovulation.  We are identifying what events of ovulation require microRNAs, and what specific microRNAs function to regulate ovulation.  

 

Carmela Rios
Enrolled Fall 2012
Biological Sciences 

B.S. Purdue University

 

 

BLUMENTHAL LAB

Sean Conway

RESEARCH INTEREST

One of the phenotypes of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster drop dead (drd) gene mutants is irregular gut function and the inability to form a peritrophic matrix (PM) inside the midgut. My research focuses on characterizing the biochemical pathway drd is involved in for forming the PM as well as investigating the effects of not having a PM in the fruit fly.

 

Sean Conway
Enrolled Fall 2013
Biological Sciences

B.S., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

 

 

 

FITTS LAB

 
Xinrui Wang

RESEARCH INTEREST

 

I'm interested in the role of sarcolemma ATP-sensitive potassium channel on exercise-induced cardioprotection. To study the mechanistic function of voluntary exercise, our lab has developed a rat model using the isolated heart (Langendoff preparation). I'm currently recording the single cell action potentials and simultaneously measuring the Calcium transient elicited by 1 to 8 Hz stimulation, and evaluating these differences between trained/sedentary and male/female rats.

Xinrui Wang
Enrolled Fall 2013
Biological Sciences

B.A., China Pharmacutical University

 

 

HRISTOVA LAB

Michael Mashock

RESEARCH INTEREST

Nanomaterials are becoming ever more common place in today’s consumer market and as such the potential for exposure during use or manufacture is increasing steadily.  My work focuses on discerning the potential mechanisms of toxicity to Baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) caused by copper oxide nanoparticles.  My research will provide useful data for further defining the relationship of nanoparticle physicochemical characteristics and the mechanisms of toxicity to S. cerevisiae which will assist in designing greener nanotechnology for the future.

CONFERENCES

2012  Sustainable Nanotechnology Conference, Arlington, VA

2013  Environmental Nanotechnology Gordon Conference, Stowe, VT

AWARDS

 

2013 Richard W. Jobling Travel Award, Marquette University

 

Michael Mashock
Enrolled Fall 2010
Biological Sciences

B.S., Winona State University

 

 

 

MAKI LAB

Prince Mathai

RESEARCH INTEREST

Short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) such as propionate and butyrate are crucial intermediates formed during the breakdown of complex organic matter to methane and carbon dioxide. The objective of my study is to characterize the abundance and population dynamics of syntrophic acetogens involved in the breakdown of SCFA into acetate during anaerobic digestion.

CONFERENCES

2013 General Meeting-Annual Society for Microbiology, Denver, CO

HONORS AND AWARDS

2013 Marquette University Fellowship

2013 Richard W. Jobling Travel Award, Marquette University

2013 Charles O'Hara Scholarship, Marquette University

Prince Mathai
Enrolled Fall 2009
Biological Sciences
B.Tech Biotechnology, Allahabad Agricultural Institute

 

 

 

NOEL LAB

Zac Lunak

RESEARCH INTEREST

I study the aerobic respiratory pathway in Rhizobium etli CFN42. Specifically, I am investigating the utilization and regulation of quinol oxidase under different physiological conditions.

CONFERENCES

22nd North American Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation Conference, at University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Minnesota. July 14-17, 2013

 

HONORS AND AWARDS

2013 Marquette University Fellowship
2014 Marquette University Fellowship
2013 Richard W. Jobling Travel Award

 

Zac Lunak
Enrolled Spring 2011
Biological Sciences

B.S., University of North Dakota

 

 

 

 

 

 

PETRELLA LAB

Meghan Fealey

RESEARCH INTEREST

I am determining how temperature affects chromatin state and therefore gene regulation using C. elegans as a model. I utilize synMuv B mutants, a system unable to regulate gene expression at high temperatures, to study these processes.  

Meghan Costello
Enrolled Fall 2012
Biological Sciences 

B.S., Purdue University

 

 

ST. MAURICE LAB

Adam Lietzan

RESEARCH INTEREST

My research focuses on understanding the molecular basis for catalysis and allosteric regulation in the multifunctional biotin-dependent enzyme pyruvate carboxylase.

HONORS AND AWARDS

2012 Denis J. O'Brien Fellowship, Marquette University

2012 Schmitt Fellowship, Marquette University

2012 American Crystallographic Association Travel Grant

2012 Oliver Smith Achievement Award, Marquette University

CONFERENCES

2012 American Crystallographic Association Annual Meeting, Boston, MA

2012 26th Annual Symposium of the Protein Society, San Diego, CA

2013 23rd Enzyme Mechanisms Conference, Coronado, CA

 

Adam Lietzan
Enrolled Fall 2008
Biological Sciences
B.A., Western Maryland College
Brittney Wyatt

RESEARCH INTEREST

 

My research focuses on the development of novel effectors to investigate the molecular basis of catalysis in the multifunctional biotin-dependent enzyme pyruvate carboxylase via the development of a high throughput assay. Pyruvate carboxylase is important in maintaining the anaplerotic pathway within the TCA cycle and metabolically important in pancreatic cells and tumor cells.

 

HONORS AND AWARDS

 

2014 Graduate Student Representative on the University Committee of Assessment

 

 

Britt Wyatt
Enrolled Fall 2013
Biological Sciences

B.S., Colorado State University -Fort Collins

 

Yumeng Liu

RESEARCH INTEREST

My research is about how the biotin-dependent enzyme pyruvate carboxylase can be allostericly regulated by binding with small molecules. These small molecules don’t participate in the reaction, they regulate the enzyme activity just by changing its conformation. I am trying to elucidate this allosteric regulation mechanism through different approaches, like crystallography and enzyme kinetics.

 

CONFERENCES

 

2014 36th Steenbock Symposium, Madison, WI

Yumeng Liu
Enrolled Fall 2013
Biological Sciences 

M.S., Agricultural University-Hebei

 

Josh Hakala RESEARCH INTEREST

 

My research involves investigating the dynamics of the swinging arm-like BCCP domain of the biotin-dependent enzyme pyruvate carboxylase. How often does it move between domains and what, if anything, can alter this dynamic? This multifunctional enzyme serves as an anaplerotic input to the TCA cycle in many organisms.

 

CONFERENCES

 

2014 36th Steenbock Symposium, Madison, WI

Josh Hakala
Enrolled Fall 2013
Biological Sciences 

B.S., University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

B.A., Lakeland College

 

 

SCHLAPPI LAB

Yao Shi

RESEARCH INTEREST

Our aim is to better understand the biochemical and genetic mechanism of cold tolerance in Rice. My research will be identifying putative candidate genes near to some novel cold tolerance QTLs that are involved in cold temperature response.

Yao Shi
Enrolled Fall 2012
Biological Sciences 

B.S., M.S., Xi'an Northwest University

 

 

STUART LAB

Josh Garlich

RESEARCH INTEREST


I’m interested in the molecular regulation of cellular metabolism. My current work is focused on understanding how the cellular microenvironment influences changes within the cell, and the underlying molecular mechanisms.

HONORS AND AWARDS

2013 Charles O'Hara Scholarship, Marquette University


PUBLICATIONS


Strogolova V., Furness A., Robb-McGrath M., Garlich J., and Stuart R.A. (2012) Rcf1 and Rcf2, members of the hypoxia induced gene 1 protein family, are critical components of the mitochondrial cytochrome bc1-cytochrome c oxidase supercomplex. Mol Cell Biol. Feb 6

 

Josh Garlich
Enrolled Fall 2010
Biological Sciences
B.A., Bethany College
Vera Strogolova

RESEARCH INTEREST

I am interested in molecular mechanisms regulating cellular metabolism. My current work focuses on the regulation of mitochondrial respiration and how this reflects the metabolic needs of the cell.

PUBLICATIONS

Strogolova V., Furness A., Robb-McGrath M., Garlich J., and Stuart R.A. (2012) Rcf1 and Rcf2, members of the hypoxia induced gene 1 protein family, are critical components of the mitochondrial cytochrome bc1-cytochrome c oxidase supercomplex. Mol Cell Biol. Feb 6

CONFERENCES

2011 Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Conference, Steamboat Springs, CO


Vera Strogolova
Enrolled Spring 2012
Biological Sciences
B.S., M.S., UW-Milwaukee

 

 

YANG LAB

Yi Liu

RESEARCH INTEREST

Protein phosphorylation is one of the most fundamental and important post-translational modifications. Yet the precise roles of phosphorylation in eukaryotic flagella remain largely unknown. My research investigates investigates phosphorylation in the radial spoke complex that regulates dynein-driven flagellar beating.

Yi Liu
Enrolled Fall 2011 
Biological Sciences

B.S., Wuhan University

 

Xiaoyan Zhu

RESEARCH INTEREST

The 9+2 axoneme is the microtubule-based scaffold in eukaryotic cilia and flagella. I use green alga Chlamydomonas as a model organism to elucidate the key steps in the assembly of the radial spoke complex in the axoneme.

PUBLICATIONS

Zhu, X., Liu, Y., Sivadas, P., Gupta, A., and Yang, P. 2013. Molecular tools for studying the radial spoke. Methods Enzymol. 524: 19-36.

Xiaoyan Zhu
Enrolled Fall 2011
Biological Sciences 

B.S., Shandong Normal University

 

 

First Year Graduate Students

Jerrin Cherian

To help in determining the best fit of student and mentor, first-year students do three laboratory rotations. During the rotations, students are temporary members of the laboratories whose research appears to be of greatest interest to them. Before the end of the student's second semester, an advisor who guides both research and selection of coursework is chosen by mutual agreement between faculty and student.

 

 

Enrolled Fall 2014
Biological Sciences 

M. Tech, Padmashree Dr. D. Y. Patil University

 

Audra Kramer

To help in determining the best fit of student and mentor, first-year students do three laboratory rotations. During the rotations, students are temporary members of the laboratories whose research appears to be of greatest interest to them. Before the end of the student's second semester, an advisor who guides both research and selection of coursework is chosen by mutual agreement between faculty and student.

 

 

Enrolled Fall 2014
Biological Sciences 

B.S. Marquette University M.S. Medical College of Wisconsin

 

Douglas Lyke

To help in determining the best fit of student and mentor, first-year students do three laboratory rotations. During the rotations, students are temporary members of the laboratories whose research appears to be of greatest interest to them. Before the end of the student's second semester, an advisor who guides both research and selection of coursework is chosen by mutual agreement between faculty and student.

 

 

Enrolled Fall 2014
Biological Sciences 

B.S., University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

 

Katherine Maniates

To help in determining the best fit of student and mentor, first-year students do three laboratory rotations. During the rotations, students are temporary members of the laboratories whose research appears to be of greatest interest to them. Before the end of the student's second semester, an advisor who guides both research and selection of coursework is chosen by mutual agreement between faculty and student.

 

 

Enrolled Fall 2014
Biological Sciences 

B.A., St. Catherine University

 

Naoki Shimoyama

To help in determining the best fit of student and mentor, first-year students do three laboratory rotations. During the rotations, students are temporary members of the laboratories whose research appears to be of greatest interest to them. Before the end of the student's second semester, an advisor who guides both research and selection of coursework is chosen by mutual agreement between faculty and student.

 

 

Enrolled Fall 2014
Biological Sciences 

B.S. Valparaiso University M.S. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

 

Michael Walsh

To help in determining the best fit of student and mentor, first-year students do three laboratory rotations. During the rotations, students are temporary members of the laboratories whose research appears to be of greatest interest to them. Before the end of the student's second semester, an advisor who guides both research and selection of coursework is chosen by mutual agreement between faculty and student.

 

 

Enrolled Fall 2014
Biological Sciences 

B.S., Purdue University-West Lafayette

 

Derek Yeh

To help in determining the best fit of student and mentor, first-year students do three laboratory rotations. During the rotations, students are temporary members of the laboratories whose research appears to be of greatest interest to them. Before the end of the student's second semester, an advisor who guides both research and selection of coursework is chosen by mutual agreement between faculty and student.

 

 

Enrolled Fall 2014
Biological Sciences 
B.S., Drake University

 



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