IRACDA Scholar: William Gillis, Ph.D.
PhD: Molecular Biology, University of Oregon Institute of Molecular Biology
William Gillis earned a B.S. in Animal Science from the University of Delaware and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the University of Oregon in Eugene. He is currently a NY-CAPS fellow in the lab of Gerald Thomsen in the Center for Developmental Genetics at Stony Brook University, which has broad interests in understanding the inductive signals that regulate cell fate and body patterning during animal development. William’s research has focused on a largely unstudied large GTPase, GTPBP2, which the Thomsen Lab has discovered is required for normal pattern formation in the frog embryo. Using both biochemical and reverse genetic techniques, William has found that GTPBP2 interacts with intracellular components of the Wnt signaling pathway, and is required for the proper transduction of these signals. As mutations which hyperactivate the Wnt pathway occur in many human cancers, including familial colon cancer and aggressive triple-negative breast cancers, William is now testing if knockdown of GTPBP2 would alleviate the abnormal cell proliferation and migration seen in these cancers. William is committed to undergraduate and graduate teaching and research mentorship.
Why I chose to join IRACDA NY-CAPS
I found IRACDA NY-CAPS appealing as the program would allow me to continue to do high-impact research, but also to gain invaluable experience as an educator. My experiences have exceeded my expectations for the training provided by this program, with focuses not only on our research and teaching, but every aspect of developing towards viable candidacy for academic positions. The community involved in IRACDA NY-CAPS, as well as the larger Center for Inclusive Education (CIE) program, is quite remarkable. From the staff at the CIE, to the undergraduate and graduate students involved, to my fellow post-docs, I am thankful to be a part of such a talented, enthusiastic, and supportive group.
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