Graduate Student Bios

Justin Brantner

Justin  Brantner

Title: PhD student, Integrative Biosciences
Department: Biology
Office: ASEC B228
Email: justin3@zips.uakron.edu


Biography

As a secondary science education undergraduate here at the University of Akron, a chance meeting through an elective course with Dr. Don Ott is what prompted me to pursue a more research oriented career. After obtaining my BA in AYA science education, I began my MS degree under Dr. Ott’s advisement. Using both cellular and histological techniques, my MS research has focused on examining reproductive organs of various clam shrimp species to better understand the variety of mating systems found within this unique group of invertebrates. More specifically, I have used both light and transmission electron microscopy (and associated staining techniques) to locate, identify, and describe reproductive tissue/cells to help answer questions regarding mating systems in various clam shrimp groups.

My PhD work will be focusing on complex microbial communities (i.e. biofilms) that grow on indwelling medical devices (i.e. prosthetic joints, spinal fusion hardware, artificial cardiac devices, etc.) and in the lungs of patients afflicted with cystic fibrosis (CF). More specifically, I will be looking at some of the molecular mechanisms associated with biofilm formation on these surfaces, potential treatment and prevention options, and using next generation sequencing techniques to understand which bacteria species are present (and to what extent) in these complex biofilm communities.

Education

2008 Bachelors of Arts (AYA Science Education), The University of Akron

2010 (expected) Masters of Science (Biology), The University of Akron