Title: PhD student, Integrative Biosciences
Office: ASEC D413
I am from Massillon, OH and through my BA in Zoology and MS in Environmental Geology, I began to ask questions about how an organism maintains homeostatic control in their environment and what signals are involved in metabolism (arguably the most important process in the body). Comparatively speaking, this allows parallels or differences to be drawn to better unravel signaling pathways. Especially with the current obesity epidemic plaguing the world, a great deal of research has focused on addressing the gene or protein malfunctions within the resultant pathways.
However, with the cloning of the Ob gene almost two decades ago, a lot has been described but there is still a ton (pun intended) left to figure out. So what better way to nibble away at that large adipose mass then to use zebrafish, a simple vertebrate model organism, and the pleiotropic hormone leptin to address the most basic questions of leptin signaling in early development. This knowledge will allow our lab to further characterize the conservation of genes, proteins, and their molecular pathways in vertebrate evolution. I am also very interested in leptin/ leptin receptor signaling and how it is related to human metabolic syndrome and leptin resistance. My dissertation will involve techniques such as: microinjection, antisense morpholinos, Q-PCR, western blot, cardiac output, HR, metabolic activity, morphology, and immune function to name a few.
Other students in our lab are asking leptin-based questions in common carp and bowhead whale and we are always looking for interesting and different perspectives so feel free to stop by!