Jill Dowen promoted to Associate Professor with tenure

Congratulations to Jill Dowen, Associate Professor in the Biochemistry & Biophysics Department and the Biology Department, who received tenure as a UNC faculty effective January 1, 2023!

Dr. Dowen received her BS from the University of Iowa, her PhD from the University of California San Diego, and she completed her postdoctoral studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Dowen joined UNC in 2016 as a faculty member in the Biochemistry and Biophysics Department and the Biology Department. Dr. Dowen is also a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Integrative Program for Biological and Genome Sciences.

Research in her lab focuses on the link between genome organization and transcriptional control of cellular identity. Her lab is particularly interested in the proteins, DNA sequences, and molecular processes that link three-dimensional organization of the genome and spatiotemporal gene expression. The Dowen lab applies cutting-edge technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing and high throughput sequencing-based chromosome conformation capture assays to interrogate the function of long-range DNA interactions on chromosomes during health and disease.

Since coming to UNC, Dr. Dowen has assembled and trained a very active lab of postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduate researchers. She’s received funding from the NIH and a Sidney Kimmel Scholar Award. She is a Reviewing Editor for Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences Genome Organization and Dynamics and is the Well-being Liaison for Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics.

(This news blurb is cross-posted with the UNC BCBP Department News.)

Nicole selected as nominee for the Dean’s Distinguished Dissertation Award

Nicole Arruda was selected as the nominee from the Genetics and Molecular Biology PhD Program to compete for a Dean’s Distinguished Dissertation Award. The Dean’s Distinguished Dissertation Award recognizes the highest level of graduate student scholarship at UNC Chapel Hill, highlighting the original and innovative work of our doctoral candidates and graduates.

There are 4 total awards given out each year, 1 in each of these 4 areas:
– Biological & Life Sciences (applicable for Nicole’s thesis work)
– Humanities & Fine Arts
– Mathematics, Physical Sciences & Engineering
– Social Sciences

We are wishing Nicole well during the competitive selection process and hope her phenomenal accomplishments will be recognized with an award by The Graduate School at UNC.

Alex and Audra win “Best Talk” awards at UNC Genetics Department Retreat

A huge congratulation goes out to graduate student Alex Stutzman and postdoctoral fellow Audra Bryan for giving excellent research talks at the 2022 UNC Genetics Department Retreat. The retreat was held Sept 14-16 in Wilmington, NC and was full of exciting research and scientific discussions. Both Alex and Audra received “Best Talk” awards in recognition of their terrific presentations. Way to go!

Nicole and Audra receive Science Mentoring Awards!

Two members of the Dowen Lab receive recognition for their outstanding mentoring from the UNC Office of Graduate Education!

Our very own Audra Bryan has received an Outstanding Mentor Award for her terrific efforts as a mentor in our lab, and especially for her work with Geoff during his fall rotation. Her planning, leadership, and time commitment were outstanding. She struck the right balance of hands-on guidance vs allowing for independence, which can be hard to achieve. We appreciate you going the extra mile as a mentor in our lab. Congratulations for earning this amazing award!

Our very own Nicole Arruda has received an Outstanding Mentor Award for her dedication to always helping others learn new techniques and analyses, providing constructive feedback/advice, and making our lab environment so fun and supportive. Congratulations Nicole! We appreciate you.

Audra Bryan completes the UNC Office of Graduate Education Mentor Training

Audra completes “Faculty Mentor Training for Biomedical Researchers” through the UNC Office of Graduate Education. The curriculum is designed to improve research mentoring skills of established scientists, faculty, and future biomedical science leaders. The content included: effective communication, aligning expectations, promoting professional development, addressing equity and inclusion, fostering independence and assessing understanding. Your dedication to enhancing the scientific training environment is appreciated!

Natalie selected for GENETICS Peer Review Training Program

Natalie has been accepted into the competitive GENETICS Peer Review Training Programing through the Genetics Society of America. Through this program she will develop the skills to provide constructive scientific feedback to peers and will review manuscripts as an Early Career Reviewer in the Gene Expression Section for the next two years (2022-2024). Congratulations Natalie!

Welcome Winter Rotation student JP Flores!

JP earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology, with a Minor in Public Health, from Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA in 2021. There he studied the potential medical relevance of cone snail venom using molecular biology and biochemistry assays. His work also involved computational biology of sequencing data. JP has been involved in scientific outreach activities and has been an advocate for promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in the sciences. We appreciate his leadership in this area and can’t wait to see what he does in the future. Welcome to the Dowen Lab!