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Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

PhD Thesis Defenses


November 12, 2019
Robert Lyle McPherson
"Biochemical and proteomic investigations on the role of ADP-ribosylation in viral infection"
Advisor: Dr. Anthony Leung

October 23, 2019
Eric Simko
"RNA secondary structure recognition by paraspeckle protein NonO"
Advisor: Dr. Jiou Wang


March 22, 2019
Justin Jacob
"Discovering the presence, regulation, and functions of Keratin 17 in the cell nucleus​​​​​​​"
Advisor: Dr. Pierre Coulombe

March 13, 2019
Kaitlin Johnson
"Activation of a transcription-dependent CRISPR-Cas system​​​​​​​"
Advisor: Dr. Scott Bailey

October 19​​​​​​​, 2018
Jessica Hopkins
"Structural determinants of meiotic recombination and checkpoint activation in mammalian germ cells​​​​​​​"
Advisor: Dr. Phil Jordan

November 7, 2018
Elizabeth Alexander
"The ubiquitin-like protein, Ubiquitin 2 bridges protein and RNA homeostasis at stress granules in ALS/FTD"
Advisor: Dr. Jiou Wang


August 15, 2018
Yajuan Guo
"Roles of Keratin 14-Dependant Disulfide Bonding in Skin Epithalia in vivo"
Advisor: Dr. Pierre Coulombe

July 20, 2018
Hana' Odeh
"Characterizing the regulation and function of the SUMO-specific isopeptidase SENP2"
Advisor: Dr. Michael Matunis

July 11, 2018
Christina Vivelo
"Global analysis of ADP- ribosylation substrates and a case study of Poly(ADP-ribose) dependant Ubiquitination"
Advisor: Dr. Anthony Leung

JuNE 6, 2018
Abigail Zieman
"A role for keratin 16 in the regulation of terminal differentiation and homeostasis in glabrous epidermis"
Advisor: Dr. Pierre Coulombe

February 9, 2018
Grace Hwang
"The roles of SMC5/6 in mammalian germ cell genome maintenance"
Advisor: Dr. Phil Jordan

December 12, 2017
Christine Lee
"Characterization of the SUMO Pathway in Regulating Mitotic Progresion"
Advisor: Dr. Michael Matunis


June 28, 2017
Fengrong Wang 
"Insight into the role of the keratin cytoskeleton during collective epithelial cell migration"
Advisor: Dr. Pierre Coulombe

June 7, 2017
Chynna Broxton 
"SOD Enzymes in a Human Fungal Pathogen: Oxidative Stress Protection Versus Cell Signaling"
Advisor: Dr. Val Culotta

March 24, 2017
Nicole Parker 
"Regulation of Spermatogonial Stem Cells in the Mature Mouse Testis"
Advisor: Dr. William Wright

November 10, 2016
Xin Sun 
"Role of Sam68 in DNA Damage Responses and Tumorigenesis"
Advisor: Dr. Fengyi Wan


August 4, 2016
Eric Wier  
"Acute bacterial infection promotes colon tumorigenesis"
Advisor: Dr. Fengyi Wan

June 27, 2016
Dolly Singh   
"Understanding the role of Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in regulating stem and progenitor spermatogonia in adult mice and men"
Advisor: Dr. William Wright

May 26, 2016
Kate Laws  
"Physiological control of Drosophila ovarian stem cell lineages"
Advisor: Dr. Daniela Drummond-Barbosa

April 18, 2016
Lauren McGinnis   
"Proteins that mediate coordination of the cell cortex and the meiotic spindle in mammalian oocytes: insights into cellular factors affecting succesful reproduction"
Advisor: Dr. Janice Evans

January 8, 2016
Mike Estrella  
"Nucleic Acid Degradation by the CRISPR Type III-B Complex "
Advisor: Dr. Scott Bailey

December 14, 2015
Hongfan (Cathy) Chen 
"CRISPR-Cas: How bacteria target foreign DNA "
Advisor: Dr. Scott Bailey

December 9, 2015
Daisy Colón-López 
"Antibody-mediated inhibitor design against Plasmodium invasion "
Advisor: Dr. Jurgen Bosch  

September 4, 2015
Andrea Hodgson
"Selective Inhibition of NF-kB Signaling by A/E Pathogens "
Advisor: Dr. Fengyi Wan 


July 22, 2015
Cissy Li
"Candida albicans Superoxide Dismutases as Part of an Adaptive Response to Copper During Infection"
Advisor: Dr. Valeria Culotta  

June 25, 2015
Katherine Reiter
"Wrestling with Malaria characterizing SUMOylation in Plasmodium falciparum "
Advisor: Dr. Michael Matunis 

June 10, 2015
Casey Daniels
"Mass spectrometry based proteomics for the study of ADP-Ribosylation"
Advisor: Dr. Anthony Leung 

December 16, 2014
Hyo Lee
"Cytoskeletal regulation of cortical mechanics in mammalian eggs"
Advisor: Dr. Janice Evans 

October 31, 2014
Mindy Graham
"Targeting the human androgen receptor gene with platinated triplex-forming oligonucleotides"
Advisor: Dr. Paul Miller 

August 6, 2014
Lauren Matthews
"Cell Cyrcle Regulation During Mammalian Female Meiosis Characterization of the MASTL-ENSA/ARPP19 Pathway in Mouse Oocytes"
Advisor: Dr. Janice Evans

July 30, 2014
Xia Feng
"Roles of Disulfide Bonding In the Assembly, Organization, and Dynamics of Keratin Intermediate Filaments in Epidermal Keratinocytes"
Advisor: Dr. Pierre Coulombe


February 21, 2014
David Alvarado
"Assessing the Contribution of Self-Organization of Keratin Interniadiate Filaments to their Biological Functions In Vivo"
Advisor: Dr.  Pierre Coulombe

December 18, 2013
Margaret Dayhoff-Brannigan
"Identifying Novel Genes Involved in Amino Acid Sensing."
Advisor: Dr. Marie Hardwick

December 17, 2013
Ulli Hain
"Autophagy in Plasmodium? Insights, Intrigue, and Inhibition."
Advisor: Dr.  Jürgen Bosch

September 23, 2013
Caelin Potts
"Characterizing the Roles of Sumoylation in Mitosis through Substrate Identification and an Analysis of the SUMO Isopeptidases, SENP1 and SENP2."
Advisor: Dr. Michael Matunis

September 6, 2013
Allen Baron
"The Dual Nature of Reactive Oxygen Species: Regulation of pH Homeostasis and Survival in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae by ROS Damage and Signaling."
Advisor: Dr. Valeria Cullota

2012 - 2013

July 19, 2012
Stephen Slocum
"The Impact of Amplified Nrf2 Signaling on Liver Regeneration and High Fat Diet-Induced Obesity"
Advisor: Dr. Thomas Kensler

February 5, 2012
Teegan Delli-Bovi
"Cofactor Metabolism in Malaria Parasites"
Advisor: Dr. Sean Prigge

November 1, 2012
Jolyn Gisselberg
"Iron Sulfur Cluster Metabolism in the Apicoplast
and Plasmodium falciparum"
Advisor: Dr. Sean Prigge

October 26, 2012
Heather Newman
"Characterizing SUMO function in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
using a versatile library of synthetic mutants"
Advisor: Dr. Michael Matunis

October 11, 2012
Xiaoou Pan
"Regulation of skin keratin by site-specific phosphorylation"
Advisor: Dr. Pierre Coulombe

August 22, 2012
Matthew Beattie
"Redox Biology and the Aging Leydig Cell"
Advisor: Dr. Barry Zirkin

August 1, 2012
Juliane Lessard
"The perception of danger: Keratin 16 regulates alarmin expression
in response to epidermal barrier challenges"
Advisor: Dr. Pierre Coulombe

July 23, 2012
Brian Roelofs
"Post-Translational Modification of Bcl-xL Orchestrates
Non-Canonical Functions"
Advisor: Dr. J. Marie Hardwick

March 6, 2012
Jianmei Zhu
"Regulation and Function of BLM SUMOylation During DNA
Damage Response"
Advisor: Dr. Michael Matunis

2011 - 2012

September 14, 2011
Jeremy Rotty
"Keratin 6 regulates Src activity: Implications for cell biology, wound
healing, and tumorigenesis"
Advisor: Dr. Pierre Coulombe

September 13, 2011
Abena S. Agyeman
"Establishing Candidate Biomarkers to Determine the
Pharmacodynamic Action of Sulforaphane in the Breast"
Advisor: Dr. Thomas Kensler

2010 - 2011

May 31, 2011
Erin L. Stanley
"Leydig cell stem/progenitor cells in neonatal, adult
and aged testes"
Advisor: Dr. Barry Zirkin

February 11, 2011
Ronald J. Stamper
"Regulation of the Biosynthesis of Glycosylphosphatidyl lnositol
Anchors in Saccharomyces cerevisiae by the small G-protein Ras2"
Advisor: Dr. Valeria Culotta

December 10, 2010
Sara E. Beese
"Regulation of the Fps1 glycerol channel in
Saccharomyces cerevisiae"
Advisor: Dr. David Levin

December 3, 2010
Patrick G. Shaw
"Proteomic Profiling of Epigenetic Signaling and Malignant
Progression in Breast Cancer"
Advisor: Dr. Nancy Davidson

October 7, 2010
Jacqueline D. Goeres
"Investigating the Dynamic Interactions of SENP2 at Nuclear
Pore Complexes and Kinetochores"
Advisor: Dr. Michael Matunis

September 14, 2010
Erica Hlavin Bell
"Effects of Cross-link Structure on Replication-independent
DNA Interstrand Cross-link Repair in Mammalian Cells"
Advisor: Dr. Paul Miller

September 3, 2010
Michael Smeaton
"Interstrand cross-links are repaired in adistortion-dependent manner"
Advisor: Dr. Paul Miller