Tag: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Portage Health Foundation Graduate Assistantship Spring 2020 Recipient – Avik Ghosh

Avik Ghosh
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

I joined Dr. Tanasova’s Lab as a PhD student in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in Fall 2017. My research focuses on exploring the impact of nutritional deprivation in cancer cells. Nutritional deprivation has been of interest to the research community as an approach to sensitize cancer cells towards chemotherapy. While many strategies have been undertaken, it is still not clear whether such an approach can be safely applied to all types of cancers. As a researcher in the Tanasova laboratory, I am aiming to understand the outcomes of fructose deprivation in different cancer types.

Our recent development of fluorescent probes that can specifically target cancer-relevant fructose transporter GLUT5 made it possible to conduct targeted studies on assessing the role of this transporter in cancer. Through preliminary assessments, I have found that depriving cancer cells in fructose through GLUT5 inhibition induces different responses in different cancer types. I discovered that in aggressive breast cancer phenotypes, such deprivation causes long-term stress that could positively contribute to the outcome of chemotherapy. In contrast, at an early stage, cancer cells appear to adjust to the induced deprivation and gain resistance. This observed difference provides an essential insight into the diverse nature of cancer and allows us to rationalize the choices of treatment better.

However, considering a required high-level experimental rigor, I still need to perform a large number of experiments that will validate the discovery from different angles. The work will include couple of challenging analyses that are known to be time-consuming and require tuning of conditions to achieve results.

Thus, I sincerely thank Portage Health Fellowship for the support. The award has not only taken care of my tuition/stipend support but also has bought me time from my daily teaching responsibilities to focus on my research better. I would also like to thank my advisor Dr. Marina Tanasova and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology for the constant support and guidance.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Spring 2019 Recipient – Rupsa Basu

Rupsa Basu
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Back in Fall 2014, I took my first international flight from India to United States to fulfill my childhood dream of becoming a Scientist! That’s when I joined Michigan Tech to pursue Ph.D in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology program. I am fortunate enough to do my doctoral research with Dr. Ebenezer Tumban, Molecular Virology & Vaccinology Lab in Department of Biological Sciences. As a part of my dissertation research, I have handled multiple projects and have learned a lot from my adviser, who was always patient and was there to give immense guidance. My research projects are focused on developing safe and highly immunogenic bacteriophage virus-like particles based vaccines against Zika and Chikungunya viruses. Apart from that, I had the opportunity to work with different projects including working to develop a novel vaccine platform, won many awards at Michigan Tech including 3-minute thesis- 1st place & people’s choice, merit award for presentations, travel awards etc. When I am not doing research, I like to read thrillers and enjoy dancing! Can’t believe it’s the final semester. I want to thank the Graduate School, MTU, Deans and everyone who supported me. With this prestigious fellowship, I now have time to fully concentrate on my dissertation writing and graduate. Happy and proud Husky!


Dean’s Award for Outstanding Teaching Award – Spring 2018 Recipients

Congratulations! Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award Spring 2018 Recipients

Rasmi Adhikari (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology PhD)
Mohammad Alizadeh Fard (Environmental Engineering PhD)
Apurva Baruah (Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics PhD)
Timothy Butler (Biological Sciences MS)
Chethan Ramakrishna Reddy (Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics PhD)
Daniel Crane (Mathematical Sciences PhD)
James Davis (Electrical Engineering MS)
Jennifer Dunn (Environmental and Energy Policy PhD)
Silke Feltz (Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture PhD)
Sanaz Habibi (Chemical Engineering PhD)
Arash Jamali (Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics PhD)
Matthew Kilgas (Integrative Physiology PhD)
Anindya Majumdar (Biomedical Engineering PhD)
Aeshah Khudaysh M Muqri (Physics PhD)
Rohit Sunil Pandhare (Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics PhD)
Sagar Umesh Patil (Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics PhD)
Nishchal Sharma (Electrical Engineering MS)


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Spring 2018 – Jeffrey Kiiskila

Jeffrey Kiiskila
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Jeffrey KiiskilaI’m a local and have been living in the UP for my entire life up to this point. My research focuses on the use of plants, mainly vetiver grass, for the treatment of metal impacted waters, where the plants use their roots for metal removal. I also do biochemical analyses on the plants to understand how they tolerate these types of environments. In addition to my research, I have been teaching classes at MTU and Gogebic Community College over the past four years, including first year biology and chemistry courses, microbiology, and botany. I have many interests outside of academia, which have included video games, bird watching, and music composition as a drummer.

The award will help me focus my time on finishing my lab work and writing without having to worry about work or finances.


Spring 2018 Finishing Fellowship Recipients

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the awarding of Finishing Fellowships for doctoral candidates. Fellowships are available through the generosity of alumni and friends of the University. They are intended to recognize outstanding PhD candidates who are in need of financial support to finish their degrees.

(listed by nominating department)

Spring 2018 Recipients

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Jeffrey Kiiskila

Biological Sciences
Andrew Chapp

Chemistry
Gemechis Dereje Degaga
Ashok Khanal
Shanshan Hou

Computer Science
Gorkem Asilioglu
Zhaoxiang Jin

Electrical Engineering
Aref Majdara
Husam Sweidan
Chaofeng Wang

Forest Science
John Henderson

Geophysics
Marine Foucher

Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Kishan Bellur
Meng Tang
Le Zhao
Xiucheng Zhu
Saeedeh Ziaeefard

Physics

Meghnath Jaishi
Dolendra Karki
Mingxiao Ye


PhD Internship Opportunities with Proctor and Gamble

Procter & Gamble’s Doctoral Recruiting Program is currently accepting applications for a limited number of internship opportunities for students pursuing PhDs in most Engineering (all disciplines), Chemistry (all disciplines), Life Sciences (all disciplines), Mathematical Science, Material Science, Veterinary Science, and Nutrition.  The program is a paid, full time summer internship at our Cincinnati, OH or Boston, MA research facilities. The preferred period for the 10 to 12 week internship is June 1 to September 1. At P&G, Intern sessions are considered temporary employment, with a predicted ending point.  No full-time employment commitments are made; however, depending on satisfactory completion of certain criteria, candidates may be considered for full-time positions upon obtaining their PhD.

To Apply:

  1. Please go to www.experiencepg.com
  2. Click on Search Jobs
  3. Enter Job #RND00002218
  4. Click Apply

Board of Control Approves New Degree Programs

At its regular meeting on Friday, Dec. 9, the Board of Control approved two new master’s degree programs, two new bachelor’s programs and a new PhD program. The new degrees–in medical informatics, biomedical engineering, biochemistry and molecular biology, physics and physics for high school teachers–now must go to the academic affairs officers of the Presidents’ Council, State Universities of Michigan, for review and approval.

The new master’s degrees reflect Michigan Tech’s commitment to providing the kind of education that industry is seeking. “The demand for master’s degrees is growing in industry,” said Provost Max Seel, “and we are trying to be proactive in meeting that need.”

The advancement of technology in the medical field, accompanied by the need to track and analyze vast amounts of data while keeping sensitive data confidential, created the need for the biomedical and medical informatics programs, he added.
The master’s degrees are professional degrees, designed to prepare students to work in the increasingly complex and demanding STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) specialties, Seel explained.

The University has also put in place an accelerated master’s degree framework, Seel noted. “We want students to know that at Michigan Tech, you can go straight through to a master’s degree,” he said.

The accelerated master’s program will enable students to complete a master’s degree in a shorter period of time than previously was possible. Biomedical engineering, the School of Technology and mechanical engineering are the first ones planning to offer an accelerated master’s degree.

The new PhD is a nondepartmental program in biochemistry and molecular biology, drawing on existing faculty and existing courses, Seel said.

The two new physics degrees are a Bachelor of Arts in Physics and a Bachelor of Arts in Physics with a concentration in secondary education.

“The motivation for offering a BA degree in physics is to give students who are not planning to study physics in graduate school a strong foundation in physics but significantly fewer physics course requirements than our current BS programs,” Seel explained. “The resulting flexibility will allow students to pursue other scholarly interests and career goals in the arts, humanities, social sciences, business, entrepreneurship, medicine and law. Physics can provide an excellent foundation for interdisciplinary endeavors in all of these fields.”

Seel said the University is also following a recommendation of the Gender Equity report of the American Physical Society to increase participation of women in physics. The recommendation reads: “Make it easier to enter a physics program after the first year to allow for late starters or those with lower initial preparation in mathematics. Create flexible tracks for physics majors to allow interdisciplinary studies or to pursue an education degree.”

The BA in Physics with a concentration in secondary education is designed to prepare more students to become high school physics teachers.

“The preparation of teaching professionals in the sciences has become an issue of national concern,” President Glenn Mroz said. “We are very fortunate in our local school districts to have excellent high school teachers with strong science credentials, but this is simply not true nationally. And if students don’t have good science teachers in K-12, they will not be prepared to pursue the math and science-related degrees in college that are in the highest demand for jobs.”

by Jennifer Donovan, director, public relations
Published in Tech Today