I was born and raised in Aspen, Co, then moved from the mountains to California for high school. I am now an undergrad at Cal studying integrative biology. In my free time I work as an emergency medical technician, run in the Berkeley hills, and take an occasional trip to the mountains to get my ski fix. The combination of school, sports, medicine, and most of all research, has made for a wonderful time at Cal!
In the lab I work with Christopher Winchell exploring germline replacement in Parhyale hawaiensis. We are testing the hypothesis that gonadal cells of somatic origin can replace the ablated germline. My research mainly involves injecting embryonic blastomeres with transgenesis and ablation cocktails in order to trace the lineage of cells and determine which one(s) contribute to the gonad. It is amazing to inject an embryo at the eight-cell stage and watch it develop into a live animal with the integrated construct. After simply heat shocking the animal, the cells in which the construct integrated will fluoresce. This is a very effective way to trace the lineage of a cell, and ultimately determine which cell(s) can replace the germline in Parhyale. There are still many unanswered questions; one I am very interested in is can the germline be ablated and replaced in adult animals? More experiments on the way!