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Science on the Move: Cell Division and Gene Mutation

Brooke Adams ’24, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Name: Brooke Adams ’24
Majors: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Hometown: Valley View, Pa.
Project Title: The Effect of the lz6 Suppressor in C. elegans PAM-1 Mutants
Faculty Adviser: Rebecca Lyczak

The Research

In my summer fellows research, I am studying body axis establishment in organisms using the model organism C. elegans. In a C. elegans one-cell embryo, early markers of properly forming body axes reveal themselves through polarity in the embryo and an asymmetrical first cellular division. I study the effects of mutation in the pam-1 gene on embryonic survival and polarity in the one-cell embryo, and I am gathering more information to understand how a novel suppressor mutation, lz6, is able to increase survival rates in pam-1 mutants and restore polarity in the embryos.

The Impact

The goal of this project is to understand how the lz6 suppressor mutation restores wildtype phenotypes in pam-1 mutant worms and the interactions of the PAM-1 protein. This research is significant because we currently know that the PAM-1 protein is an important cell cycle regulator, and when the human pam-1 analog malfunctions, infertility and Alzheimer’s disease may result.

The Takeaway

I have personally learned so much since I began research with Dr. Lyczak last fall. I have learned many important molecular techniques that will be useful as I continue to grow as a scientist, and during Summer Fellows. I have really been given the opportunity to expand my project even further to study many of the areas of the project that have interested me since I began research in Dr. Lyczak’s lab.

The Fun

One fun experience that we had this summer in the lab was adopting a lab fish! Sarah, Ian, and I all went to pick out the fish together one day after research, and we had so much fun picking the fish out and naming him. He has been such a great addition to the lab!

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