Editor’s Note: “Get to Know” is an American Society for Cell Biology blog series devoted to profiling our membership. If you are a current ASCB member and would like to be featured, please get in touch with ASCB’s Director of Membership, Brian Theil, btheil at ascb dot org.
Postdoctoral Fellow, McGill University
What questions does your work try to answer?
Right now, I am trying to understand how the spindle assembly checkpoint is regulated by cell size and fate in the early C. elegans embryo. My past, current and future research addresses my overall goal to understand if and how different cell types undergo mitosis differently. This will help elucidate what the implications of those differences are in both developmental and disease conditions
What excites you about your work?
In my eyes, mitosis is the most exciting time of in a cell’s life! I do a lot of imaging, and it never gets old to actually see the complexity of what the cell accomplishes as it divides.
What are some challenges you face in your work?
Who doesn’t have 1,000 problems when they are doing lab work?! One problem – which is part of the fun – is that the questions I am trying to answer clearly have multiple context-dependent factors that affect the outcome. We are only just beginning to understand what those factors (e.g. cell size and fate) are and how they relate to each other, so it is a challenge to disentangle things to see the big picture.
How has your membership in ASCB impacted your career journey?
The annual ASCB meeting was the first scientific conference I went to, and I loved everything about it! It was such fun meeting the faces behind the papers I had read, hearing about new research directions, and being around people who had the same mindset as me. The experience of that conference and its atmosphere played a large part in me wanting to do a PhD. ASCB has also impacted my career outside of the lab; I serve on the LGBTQ+ and COMPASS (Committee for Postdocs and Students) committees of ASCB, and it has been very rewarding to help the scientific community outside of the context of research. We are actively working towards bettering areas in need of improvement (e.g. issues of discrimination and mental health), which will benefit current and future generations of scientists.
About the Author:
This post was collaboratively written by several ASCB staff members.