Dakota (Cody) Robarts
Dakota originates from the small town of Franklin Kansas where he resided until graduating high school in 2014. Interested in science, he then pursued a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas. Here, he was able to conduct research allowing him to discover his passion for biomedical research and become a K-INBRE scholar. After graduation in 2018, he was accepted into the IGPBS program at KUMC and subsequently joined the laboratory of Udayan Apte, Ph.D., DABT in 2019. Dakota then completed an internship at the US EPA in the Center for Computational Toxicology and Exposure in the laboratory of Chris Corton, Ph.D.
Dakota is currently working on two independent projects. The first project is studying the role of a post-translational modification (PTM), termed O-GlcNAcylation, during different forms of liver regeneration. This PTM is known to regulate chromatin structure and the cell cycle. As both processes are critical in liver regeneration, the aim of my dissertation is to determine the effects of altering hepatocyte O-GlcNAcylation levels after partial hepatectomy-induced liver regeneration. The second project is studying the adverse health effects of an anthropogenic chemical class called per- and poly-fluorinated substances (PFAS). These chemicals tend to persist in the environment and bioaccumulate in mammals. The goal of my research is to examine the effects of the older (legacy) and newer (alternative) PFAS on the liver. In the end, in both projects, I will utilize large data approaches such as bulk RNA-sequencing, metabolomics, proteomics, and single-cell RNA-sequencing to help ascertain the effects. These data management skills will help prepare me for my future career goal as a computational toxicologist researcher at the US EPA.