On December 16th from 2-4 PM EST, for The Mark Foundation held its Research Fellowship Symposium. At this virtual event, four fellows presented their research on innovative ways of understanding cancer from insights gleaned from two exciting fields: phase separation and metabolism.
Lexy von Diezmann is a Biophysicist who studies nanoscale protein dynamics and organization within living cells using single-molecule microscopy. Her graduate studies focused on developing methods for 3D multicolor imaging, with applications to understanding how a membraneless organelle directs asymmetric cell division in a model bacterium. Now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Utah with Ofer Rog and Erik Jorgensen, Lexy researches how protein localization and diffusion within a proteinaceous liquid crystal regulates DNA repair pathway fate along meiotic chromosomes. Her teaching and mentorship is inspired by her interdisciplinary research interests, and she is motivated to support students as they develop their own intellectual niches and skillsets.
Amy Strom started her scientific career by utilizing the game Mastermind to teach logical experimental design and studying enhancer-promoter interactions with PI Dr. Scott Barolo during her undergraduate at the University of Michigan. Then she completed her PhD at the University of California, Berkeley under Dr. Gary Karpen, where she found that phase separation drives heterochromatin domain formation. Now she is a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University under Cliff Brangwynne, studying the role of chromatin-binding, phase-separating proteins in cancer.
Jonathan van Vranken received his bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University in Springfield, OH. He then moved to Salt Lake City to do his PhD with Jared Rutter at the University of Utah where he studied the molecular mechanisms of OXPHOS complex biogenesis and their role in the development of certain types of cancer. Currently, Jonathan is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Steven Gygi at Harvard Medical School where he has been developing mass spectrometry-based approaches to identify expression-independent changes in the cellular proteome.
Caroline Bartman did her PhD on transcriptional regulation in the labs of Gerd Blobel and Arjun Raj at the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently a Damon Runyon/Mark Foundation postdoctoral fellow developing new methods to measure tumor metabolism in vivo in the Joshua Rabinowitz lab at Princeton University. Caroline also enjoys telling bad science puns on Twitter.