Cell cycle regulation in female meiotic systems
I joined the MD-PhD Program during my second year of basic sciences in the MD program. In the fall of 2007, I entered Dr. Scott Hawley's laboratory at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research to begin my PhD research exploring the mechanisms by which a meiotic cell can arrest for long periods of time (decades in human females). In particular, my research includes the Drosophila Matrimony (Mtrm) protein and its interaction with Polo kinase (Polo) during the later stages of G2 arrest in female meiosis.
I am from Fayetteville, Arkansas, but received my undergraduate degree in 2004 in Biology from University of Kansas. At KU, I worked in Dr. "Chip" Taylor's lab studying glue proteins in the egg adhesive of the Monarch butterfly. After my first year of medical school, I did research in Dr. Joe Tash's lab in reproductive physiology exploring the mechanism of action of a potential non-hormonal male contraceptive agent, Gamendazole. I also had the opportunity to work for Drs. Jonathan and Sara Li in conjunction with Dr. Ossama Tawfik on the use of Aurora kinases as a potential biomarker for invasive ductal breast carcinoma and Dr. Jay Vivian in weekly discussions on stem cell biology.
Indeed, my research interests tend to revolve around fundamental molecular events in meiosis and mitosis and the pathology associated with those events including cancer, infertility, and chromosome nondisjunction. Outside of the lab, you might find me at my favorite spot in town-The Nelson-Atkins Art Museum, reading in various coffee shops, or spending time with friends and family. I also enjoy traveling and have been known to dabble in photography. Feel free to contact me with any questions regarding the MD-PhD program. I can certainly attest to its flexibility and innovative nature.
Mentor & Department:
Dr. Scott Hawley,
Molecular and Integrative Physiology,
Stowers Medical Research Institute
Currently: Anesthesiology Residency Training Program at Duke University Medical Center; Durham, NC.
S. Kendall Smith, M.D., Ph.D.