Alexandra Ruth Glathar is a trainee in the doctoral program in biochemistry.
She studies in the laboratory of her mentor, Satrajit Sinha, PhD, professor of biochemistry at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Glathar grew up in Fairport, New York, a suburb of Rochester, and earned her bachelor’s degree from SUNY Geneseo.
We study transcriptional control in both epithelial development as well as cancer development. Specifically, my project is looking at how transcription factors and the broad transcriptional machinery in cancer comes together to control the downstream transcription genes. We’re trying to break down the mechanisms of how important transcription factors regulate essential processes in cancer development and progression.
It’s really given me the opportunity to gain new skills, especially in bioinformatics. My lab does a lot of wet-lab based techniques, but we also do a lot of bioinformatics. That’s where I’ve really had the opportunity to grow, and gain skills in RNA-sequencing and ChIP-sequencing as well as analyzing publicly available data, which has really enriched my project and will help me wherever I go.
I had done interviews at several schools. When I came here it was through the PhD program in biomedical sciences and I loved how I could rotate among several different departments. That gave me access to explore the research in different departments, where other programs would limit you to one department upon entrance. I love science, so I didn’t want to pigeonhole myself into one specific area and I wanted to be able to explore all the potential research options available before deciding on a focus.
Yes, especially when I think of the biochemistry department and the fact that the department has such a breadth of research and research topics. It’s so easy to make connections and find people that can look at what you’re doing in a different way and perhaps suggest insights that you might not have thought of. That’s why collaboration here is great. There is so much that people are working on that they can offer insight with a different viewpoint.
I’d like to pursue a postdoctoral research position and hopefully end up in a career in academia. Ideally, I’d love to be an independent researcher and train students. I want to be somewhere where I can do great science and train the next generation of scientists.
Buffalo’s great. I love the city. I always say that I’ve gone from a small town, to a small college, and now coming here has exposed me to more diversity, both in the city and at the Jacobs School.
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