Graduate Student Snapshot: Joel Basken


To-do lists can plague graduate students. Experiments to complete, forms to fill out, papers to read, papers to write – these lists are filled with tasks that drag on (or are put off) for years. For one graduate student, the list literally goes on and on, but not in the way you’d expect. Joel Basken, a 6th year PhD candidate in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB), is famous in his home department and beyond for many things, but his incomparable lists make him a grad student hero.

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Graduate Student Snapshot: Amber Ortega

Amber Ortega science

It’s not often that science and spirituality see eye-to-eye, but for Amber Ortega, spirituality and scientific research cooperatively shape her professional and personal pursuits. How did this recent Atmospheric and Oceanic Science graduate end up becoming a priestess of the ceremonial arts? A lifelong journey motivated by connecting science, policy, and those affected by science policy have defined the researcher and spiritualist that Amber is today.

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Yeast study reveals novel regulators of cell division

Ever think back to the time when you were just a single cell? Probably not. But consider the fact that your adult body is composed of upwards of 37 trillion cells!  While we may take for granted this astounding accomplishment, it’s no small feat. How does a human embryo go from one cell to 37 trillion cells? Well, simple as it may sound, that first cell makes copies of itself and each of those new cells follows in turn to build a living, breathing human being.

Avena fig 1
A cell duplicates its contents, including its DNA (orange X’s) and centrosomes
 (red boxes) and divides them equally between two daughter cells. 
DNA is partitioned using a spindle apparatus (red boxes and blue lines).

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