Welcome Fall Rotation Students Benjamin and Geoffrey

Our lab is excited to welcome two new graduate students for the fall rotation period.

Benjamin Kornegay will investigate chromatin structure using advanced molecular biology and genome editing techniques. Benjamin graduated from the University of Richmond and has company experience.

Geoffrey Fox will work on new CRISPR methodologies in the lab. Geoffrey earned his B.S. in Cell & Molecular Biology from Penn State where he worked on structural biology and plant biology.

Welcome to the Dowen Lab and UNC!

Jill named Well-being Liaison for UNC Biochemistry and Biophysics Department

Jill Dowen, Assistant Professor in Biochemistry and Biophysics and Biology was recently named the Well-being Liaison for the department. This is an important new position initiated and supported by the UNC School of Medicine. In this role, Dr. Dowen will “work with Departments and School of Medicine leaders to support a learning, training, and working environment in which members of the community thrive”.

The liaison will work closely with the School of Medicine Well-being Committee Chair, the Integrated Well-being Program’s Operational Team, the Faculty Affairs and Diversity Leadership Committee, the Office of Faculty Affairs and Leadership Development, and the Department’s Diversity Liaison Dr. Silvia Ramos and the Diversity Council.

Stay tuned for information on wellness-related programming and resources available to students, staff and faculty and an assessment of our community needs.

Megan Justice completes her thesis work

Congratulations to our newest PhD… Dr. Megan Justice! Megan successfully defended her thesis work on Monday, April 5th in a public seminar held on Zoom. She explained her work identifying WIZ as a structural regulator of the genome. Her studies reveal that WIZ forms a complex with CTCF and cohesin, and that WIZ is required for proper genome organization and gene expression. Megan is the first graduate student to complete her PhD training in the lab. Way to set the bar high!

We are so proud of you and can’t wait to see what you do next!

Welcome new graduate student Riya Gohil

Riya Gohil has decided to join the Jill Dowen Lab for her thesis work. Welcome Riya! Riya did her undergraduate work at University of Georgia, earning a BS in Genetics in December 2019. She is interested in understanding features of chromatin that impact cohesin- and CTCF-mediated genome structures. We are glad that you chose to join us and excited to see what you discover during your time in the lab.

Alex Stutzman featured in National Magazine

Alex was recognized for her work founding BlackInGenetics in National Magazine.  She emphasizes how important it is for geneticists to be careful and intentional with their language and interpretations around studies of ethnicity and race.  Alex has lead efforts that promote diversity in science, including providing resources, networking opportunities and programming.  We are so inspired by your work to make science accessible for all.

Alex Stutzman nominated for HHMI Gilliam Fellowship

Alex successfully competed to be one of the UNC nominees put forward in prestigious national fellowship competition.  Alex is now in the running for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study.  She is a terrific candidate with a strong background in research and leadership.  We hope HHMI is able to recognize Alex’s accomplishments and provide her future opportunities for continued development by awarding her with his fellowship.

Dowen Lab members win awards for presenting their work at Symposium

Two Dowen Lab members have won competitive awards at the 4th Annual UNC Chromatin and Epigenetics Symposium, held virtually on Dec 3, 2020.

Graduate student Nicole Arruda won an award for her talk.

Graduate student Megan Justice won an award for her poster presentation.

Congratulations on being recognized for your presentation skills and your results. Enjoy the prize money!

Riya Gohil writes NC DNA Day blog post highlighting Alex Stutzman

She is at it again. Riya Gohil has authored another blog post for NC DNA Day, this time shining the spotlight on our very own graduate student Alex Stutzman!  Riya interviews Alex and reveals her path to research, her scientific loves, and other science adjacent interests. In particular, they touch on Black In Genetics (BIG) which Alex founded and is leading in some cool directions. Riya did a great job in this new format (personal interview).

Check out her work here:  http://ncdnaday.org/2020/10/scientist-spotlight-alexis-stutzman/