Biological Fidelity and Robustness

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Molly Kirk

I am interested in the molecular mechanisms by which complex organisms, specifically the nervous system of complex organisms, survive extreme environmental challenges. To answer these questions, I use the extremely tolerant Tardigrade, a unique invertebrate clade renowned for its ability to survive, complete desiccation, hypoxia, the vacuum of space, and radiation 1000 times the dosage of other animals! I am currently pursuing three avenues of research in the lab.

Juwel Chandra Baray

My research is centered on understanding transdifferentiation, transorganogenesis, and the intriguing fields of aging and longevity in the nematode C. elegans. Furthermore, my objective is to bridge the gap between human biology and model organisms by applying these insights to the context of human cells.

Jonathan Paules

My project focuses on creating a novel feeding assay to better research Tardigrades and their incredible resilience to a myriad of external pressures.

Paige Shukwit

My focus is on understanding how tardigrades respond to extreme environments, specifically ranging pH levels.

Will Carlen-Jones

I'm focused on studying deleterious mitochondrial mutations using the strain SJ4100 to measure fluorescence. SJ4100 measures heat shock proteins associated with the unfolded protein response (UPR), which is linked with damaged mitochondria. Fluorescence can then be used as a metric to compare strains such as uaDf5 and ATFS-1 which show varying levels of mitochondrial damage.

Julia Drushell

I am working with Dr. Kirk to better understand tardigrade behavior and resilience to a variety of extreme environmental conditions

Research Collaborators

Mechanical Engineering