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2011 Class

MARC Undergraduate Student Training for Academic Research

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Jessica Douthit

Jessica Douthit is in the MD/PhD program at the NYU School of Medicine and recently completed her PhD in Developmental Genetics. Plexin A, a transmembrane protein known to affect motor axon guidance and targeting of R1-R6 photoreceptors in Drosophila, was shown to also affect targeting of R7 photoreceptors. The goal of Jessica's project is to characterize Plexin A’s role in guidance of R7s with the use of genetic tools and manipulations available in the Drosophila model system. Along with her PI, Jessica Treisman, Jessica Douthit is currently working to generate a mutant for PlexA and characterize the mutant phenotype. She would like to determine what cells require PlexA expression for targeting of R7s and then attempt to rescue the mutant phenotype. She is also trying to determine the binding parter of PlexA in this context and whether PlexA is acting as a ligand or a receptor.

Josephine Garban

Josephine Garban is currently a patent agent at Cooley LLP in Boston, MA. In December 2015, she earned her PhD in Molecular Medicine at Pennsylvania State University, Department of Carcinogenesis and Molecular Toxicology. Her lab work consisted of working on understanding the role of microRNA's in the regulation of of reverse cholesterol transport. S

Samantha Garcia

Samantha Garcia obtained her PhD in the Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis at Thomas Jefferson University in 2018. Prior to this, she earned a bachelor's degree in Biology at Temple University in 2011 and attended Archbishop Ryan high school. At Thomas Jefferson University, Samantha worked in the lab of Dr. DC Hooper. The lab uses the rabies virus as a model for understanding diseases of the central nervous system. Her project, in particular, involved long term protection in the Central Nervous system using this model.

Eric Bryant Gibbs

From 2009-2011, Eric Bryant Gibbs performed research in the lab of Dr. Daniel R. Strongin at Temple University. Here, he investigated the effects of a novel polymeric coating on mining waste to develop a new remediation strategy for acid mine drainage, a pressing environmental concern in the area. He also had the opportunity to learn many new techniques and present his findings at a national conference.

Eric obtained his PhD in chemistry at Pennsylvania State University. He worked in the lab of Dr. Scott Showalter, where they applied biophysical chemistry techniques to the study of disordered proteins and protein-RNA interactions. Eric is currently a post-doc at St Jude's Research Hospital.

Ashley Schloss

Ashley Schloss obtained her PhD from Yale University in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. She worked on several different protein engineering and design projects and was also awarded the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.