Bio-X Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2018
Home Department: Biophysics
Faculty Advisors: Alexander Dunn (Chemical Engineering) and William Weis (Structural Biology, Photon Science Directorate, and Molecular & Cellular Physiology)

Research Title: Investigating cytoskeletal repair mechanisms upon epithelial cell detachment

Research Description: Beta-catenin is a highly conserved protein instrumental in the origin of multicellularity. It lies at the heart of multiple signaling pathways in Photo of graduate student Elgin Korkmazhan in the lab, using a large microscope.mechanotransduction and developmental processes, and dysfunctions with this protein are highly associated with pathologies such as cancers and heart disease. Recent experiments have shown that there is crosstalk of different beta-catenin dependent pathways related to cell junctions and proliferative behavior. By combining biophysical tools with biochemistry and genetics, Elgin will work on better understanding the details of beta-catenin spatiotemporal dynamics at the single molecule level to shed light on the intricacies of cell-cell adhesion and cellular signaling pathways.  


Elgin is a postdoctoral scholar at the Ruggero lab at UCSF working on translational control and cancer research.