Our Research Community

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Tufts University: Mammalian Genetics

The Graduate School of Biomedical Science in Boston, MA, and The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) in Bar Harbor, ME, collaboratively offer the Mammalian Genetics at JAX Track within the Genetics Ph.D. Program. JAX is a premiere, non-profit…

Read at gsbs.tufts.edu

UConn Health: PhD, MD/PhD, DMD/PhD

The Graduate School at UConn Health offers programs in Biomedical Science, Public Health, Clinical and Translational Research and Dental Science.

Read at health.uconn.edu

Tufts University: Neuroscience & Neurogenetics

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Boston, MA, and The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) in Bar Harbor, ME, collaboratively offer the JAX Track in Neuroscience and Neurogenetics (Neuro at JAX) within the Neuroscience PhD Program. JAX is a…

Read at gsbs.tufts.edu

University of Maine: Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering

Unique graduate programs that includes five additional cooperating academic and research institutions within Maine.

Read at gsbse.umaine.edu

University of Connecticut: Computer Science & Engineering

The Computer Science and Engineering Department offers internationally-recognized M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs for both full-time and part-time students. These programs offer...

Read at cse.uconn.edu

Uma Arora

Hometown: Bangalore, India
Undergrad Institution: University of California – Los Angeles
Undergrad major: B.S. Psychobiology and Marine Biology

What is your research focus?
I am investigating the variation in centromeric DNA and kinetochore proteins and its impact on chromosome segregation dynamics.

What question/problem do you hope to help solve as a scientist?
I will use my training in evolutionary genetics and genomics to contribute to the environmental protection or improving human health.

What do you like about training at JAX?
I like the collaborative scientific community, the hands on training from PIs and other scientists, and the accessibility to resources (computational, experimental, and educational).

Peter Larson

Hometown: New Canaan, CT
Undergrad Institution: UConn
Undergrad major: B.S. Pathobiology; B.S. Molecular and Cell Biology (Dual Degrees)

What is your research focus?
I study how we can engineer the skin microbiome to prevent multidrug-resistant infections and treat diseases.

What question/problem do you hope to help solve as a scientist?
I hope to translate of the latest advances in microbiology into practical microbial therapeutics.

Share something you have learned from your PI that makes you a better/wiser/more efficient scientist.
Just watching the way Julia Oh runs her laboratory has been a lesson in how to be a leader in research. She is a true role model of academic leadership. Her positivity, the way she encourages of her team to build our skill sets, pursue their passions, and guidance use our time effectively. I hope to bring it all to my own lab someday.

Sarah Holbrook

Hometown: Fort Fairfield, ME
Undergrad Institution: University of Maine
Undergrad major: BS Biology with Honors, Minors: Neuroscience and Psychology

What is your research focus?
Phenotyping neuromuscular degenerative disease mouse models and potential therapies for said diseases. In particular, I am studying Spinal Muscular Atrophy with Respiratory Distress Type 1 (SMARD1) and assessing the efficacy of treatments such as gene therapy and/or pharmaceuticals.

Share something you have learned from your PI that makes you a better/wiser/more efficient scientist.
He has taught me to think of problems/projects like a car. Assess the frame and see what you can build upon and what needs to be replaced. If your car is making a weird sound, pop open the hood and diagnose the problem. Don’t ignore it. A lot of the time, you can fix it yourself much cheaper with the right parts, but also know when to collaborate with an expert with better tools to fix the issue. He has also helped me with my actual car making both the figurative and literal cars more approachable and less daunting. 

Mike McLellan

Hometown: East Lyme, Connecticut
Undergrad Institution: Assumption College, Worcester, MA
Undergrad major: BA Chemistry (ACS-accredited); BA Cellular, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology

What is your research focus?
I am interested in genetics and the cardiovascular system, particularly mechanisms of intercellular communication which contribute to muscle tissue development and homeostasis

What question/problem do you hope to help solve as a scientist?
I hope to develop in vitro technologies to increase agricultural production and to improve access to food globally.

What do you like about training at JAX?
JAX has the resources of a world-leading scientific research institute, but is still able to maintain a strong small-town feeling of a close-knit community. And when an experiment fails, taking a hike up Cadillac Mountain always helps. 

Share something you have learned from your PI that makes you a better/wiser/more efficient scientist.
Don't let the fear of failure prevent scientific exploration, but be ready with a back-up plan.

Patience Mukashyaka

Hometown: Rwanda
Undergrad Institution: Spelman College
Undergrad major: B.S. Biochemistry

What is your research focus?
I am interested in using computational analysis especially image analysis to understand how cancer cell populations function and evolve.

What do you like about training at JAX?
I am very lucky and grateful to be a trainee at JAX. I have so many resources, I feel very supported and I am always learning from my colleagues who are experts in different areas of computational analysis. Moreover, JAX implements a great learning environment by providing training courses, conferences and distinguished scientific talks.

Share something you have learned from your PI that makes you a better/wiser/more efficient scientist.
I joined Jeff Chuang’s lab because my research interests are very similar to his lab but, also because he is an amazing mentor. I have learned from him that no matter how challenging a research question might seem, there is always an answer: just read more, think harder and be patient.

Tionna Ouellette

Hometown: Glenburn, Maine
Undergrad Institution: University of Maine
Undergrad major: BS Biochemistry, minor in neuroscience, though! :)

What is your research focus?
I am interested in mapping neural circuitry that drives complex behaviors, like feeding.

What do you like about training at JAX?
The community. Not just the students and professors, but the research community as a whole are very welcoming. I haven’t found a question or problem that couldn’t be faced with the help of those around me.

Share something you have learned from your PI that makes you a better/wiser/more efficient scientist.
Patience! My PI has taught me the value of taking a deep breath and focusing my energy where it is needed most. This is a skill that has made me more efficient both in and outside of the lab.