Each year, the program offers a small number of stipends to allow some URAP apprentices to continue work on their mentors' research projects over the summer. To be eligible, students must have been working with the same mentor for at least two semesters. Mentors nominate their students. These stipends are generously supported by a number of private donors.

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Studies of PRC2

Summer 2017

Dvir Reif : Molecular & Cell Biology

Mentor: Eva Nogales, Molecular & Cell Biology

I have been working in the Nogales lab since Summer 2016 through this academic year through URAP, working with a postdoctoral fellow (Vignesh Kasinath) and another undergraduate (Ashlee Feng) in the Nogales lab. My work in the Nogales lab is focused on understanding the structure and function of Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2). So far we have been successful not just in the biochemical characterization which involves molecular cloning and protein purification, but also in preliminary electron microscopy studies (Negative stain and Cryo-EM). We have found conclusive evidence for the presence of PRC2 dimers which had previously only been postulated. Currently we are investigating the functional significance of these dimers and also studying interactions of PRC2 with RNA.

Message to Sponsor:

Working at this lab has been a great learning experience for me and I appreciate all the amazing people I have met and worked with in the lab. My interactions and time at the lab have really given me a direction for the future in deciding to go on for a phD and continue researching.