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Science on the Move: Cell Division and Gene Mutation

Sarah Bell ’24, Biology

Name: Sarah Bell ’24
Majors: Biology and Dance
Hometown: Willow Grove, Pa.
Project Title: Visualizing Mitosis – wee-1.3 and pam-1 Working Together
Faculty Adviser: Rebecca Lyczak


The Research

My research focuses on mitosis, which is the process cells take to divide. Regulation of this and the cell cycle is very important because mistakes in the process can cause major issues for the body, like cancer. I focus on how the pam-1 gene interacts in mitosis along with studying suppressor genes that rescue pam-1 mutant effects.

The Impact

The goal of my project is to connect the interaction that pam-1 has on mitosis and how wee-1.3(Lz5) can rescue pam-1 mutant effects during mitosis. This is important for our area of study since it has not been looked at yet. There is research into how pam-1 interacts in meiosis as well as rescuing effects of pam-1 mutant effects in embryos during meiosis. This data I hope to gather will allow more to be known about the cell cycle and how the genes work together.

The Takeaway

Coming into the lab this past year as a one-credit researcher, all I knew was that I was interested in genetics. I was able to come into Professor of Biology Rebecca Lyczak’s lab and learn new techniques every week. Being a part of the lab this past semester and for Summer Fellows has only solidified for me that I would like to go into a genetics graduate program. I am looking further down the road to continuing research, as I have enjoyed getting to spend each day with my project.

The Fun

Our lab recently decided to go in on a fish together, so we have adopted a beta fish. He has a luxurious 5-gallon tank with a filter and lots of rocks. We named him Reign Bar. It almost sounds like a rainbow as that is what his appearance gives off. The BAR is an acronym of our last names since we are very proud parents!

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