Alumni

Matthew in Iceland

I received my Ph.D. in biology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in December of 2016. I am interested in terrestrial food webs and their influence on ecosystem processes and services. My dissertation research focused on how invasive plants affect belowground ecosystems, with an emphasis on soil arthropod food webs. I am currently a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Wisconsin at Madison where I am studying how vegetation structure influences feedback interactions between plant and soil food webs in subarctic Iceland. 

Matthew McCary  |  Mentor: David Wise
Elena in her lab

In 2002, I joined a graduate program in the biological sciences at the University of Illinois in Chicago. In the laboratory of Dr. Janet Richmond, I studied the mechanism of synaptic transmission using C. elegans as a model system. I have mastered and employed such techniques as high pressure freeze and freeze substitution to preserve nerve tissue for morphological and immuno-EM analysis to study the function of several synaptic proteins including tomosyn, UNC-18, UNC-13, Rim, syntaxin and CAPS. Shortly after obtaining my PhD in 2007, I joined the laboratory of Dr. David Julius at the University of California San Francisco in 2008. During that time, I worked on understanding how animals sense infrared light, and discovered fascinating molecules that allow bats and infrared-sensing snakes to find their prey in the dark. Currently, I am Associated Professor at Yale University School of Medicine. The main goal of my lab is to understand the molecular basis of temperature sensitivity under normal, adaptive and pathological conditions. We are using non-standard animal models such as hibernating thirteen-lined ground squirrels and Syrian hamsters to delineate molecular and cellular aspects of somatosensitivity and thermoregulation. We are using multi-disciplinary approach, including electrophysiology, molecular biology, imaging, behavioral paradigms, genomics, trascriptomics and bioinformatics.

Elena Gracheva  |  Mentor: Janet Richmond