Assistant Professor (Since 2014)
In my lab we study how cells become properly patterned during development. In particular, we are currently trying to uncover mechanisms that control the organization of the microtubule cytoskeleton during cell differentiation. All animal cells use the centrosome to organize microtubules into a spindle during mitosis. However, differentiated cells frequently adopt alternative spatial patterns of microtubule organization in order to accommodate specific cell functions. We know very little about the molecules that link microtubules to non-centrosomal sites or about the regulatory mechanisms that control the transition from a centrosome based to non-centrosome based organization. My lab is using the model organism C. elegans to answer these questions.
“I love discovery and being able to have creative thinking be my profession! In addition, helping to inspire a future generation of scientists in incredibly rewarding.” -Jessica Feldman on her favorite part about her research
How has being a member of GSA helped you advance in your career? Why do you think societies like GSA are important?
The GSA is a fantastic organization that has helped me throughout my career. The continued support of organism specific conferences has had a tremendous impact of my training and professional development. Both the Chlamydomonas meetings that I attended as a graduate student and the C. elegans meeting that I now attend have been so important for learning the latest technologies, having the opportunity to share my research with the community, and getting the opportunity to meet the leaders in my field. In addition, the GSA makes career development a priority and this is clear by the various professional development workshops that are available at meetings.
If your position involves teaching, which subjects or courses are you expecting to teach?
I am teaching a class on cell and developmental biology for undergraduates. This course is designed to teach students how we know what we know rather than just the facts. I am also excited to expose these students for the first time to my favorite paradigms in cell and developmental biology!
Previous training experiences:
Postdoctoral Fellow: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, WA
Ph.D., Cell Biology: University of California, San Francisco, CA
Bachelor of Arts, Biology: Columbia University, NY
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
Skiing in the winter and hiking and backpacking in the summer. I also love all water activities.