Day: January 30, 2021

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Spring 2021 Recipient – Mujeeb Shittu

I joined Michigan Tech University in Spring 2017 as a Ph.D. student in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program. I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Medical Laboratory Science at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology and a master’s degree in Cell Biology and Genetics at the University of Lagos.
My doctoral research in Dr. Thomas Werner’s lab focuses on answering one of the most pertinent questions in evolutionary biology – How do animals develop their color patterns? My overall goal is to understand how animals develop their color patterns and discover the regulatory pathways involved in complex color pattern formation in animals. I am using the fruit flies in the quinaria group species (D. guttifera, D. deflecta, D. palustris, D. subpalutris, D.recens, and D. quinaria) as the model to unravel the process of color patterns development in animals. This research will help the scientific community understand the genetic mechanisms that coordinate the assembly of complex color patterns in animal species. It will also benefit cancer research because the toolkit genes that we have identified as pigmentation genes in fruit flies are known human proto-oncogenes; that is, they can cause cancer in humans if misregulated.
My profound gratitude goes to the Michigan Tech Graduate School for the invaluable opportunity to award me the Doctoral finishing fellowship. I am highly grateful to the National Institute of Health (NIH) for providing me financial support for 2.5 years. I especially want to thank my advisor Dr. Werner and my committee members (Prof. Joshi, Dr. Techtmann, and Dr. Hairong Wei), for their excellent guidance throughout my research.