Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Emily Gibson

The Role of DNA Methylation in the Northern Elephant Seal Stress Response

DNA methylation is an epigenetic process wherein methyl groups are added to the nitrogenous bases of DNA molecules. DNA methylation is known to affect transcription and influence gene expression. For the past two semesters, I have been quantifying the global DNA methylation profiles of Northern elephant seals to see how they modulate their gene expression in response to stressors (such as frequent fasting periods and hypoxic conditions) in their environment. This summer, I will continue my research by investigating specific genes involved in the elephant seal stress response and determining how DNA methylation affects the expression of those genes through DNA sequencing.

Message To Sponsor

Thank you again for your support of my research project this summer! Despite the unusual circumstances, I was able to learn a lot about the scientific research community and delve into many topics that I might not normally have had time for. Thank you so much for your generosity!
Profile image of Emily Gibson
Major: Molecular & Cell Biology
Mentor: Jose Pablo Vazquez-Medina, Integrative Biology
Sponsor: Chandra Research Fellows - Chandra Fund
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