MDI Biological Laboratory
MDI Science Café

Mentoring at MDIBL

  • March 13, 2023
  • 5:00 - 6:00 pm
  • Online

Having the opportunity to work with Dustin Updike, Ph.D., was what initially drew Emily Spaulding, Ph.D., to MDI Biological Laboratory. “Dustin is well known in the Maine biomedical community for leveraging the power of C. elegans’ genetics to study germ line biology [the cells that form sperm and egg], and he also has a reputation as an excellent mentor.”

A postdoctoral researcher in the Updike Lab, now Dr. Spaulding is making an impact as a mentor herself, working with a College of the Atlantic student interested in pursuing a career in research.  Kamilah Bundang is using CRISPR/Cas9 genetic engineering in the tiny nematode, C. elegans, to study proteins that are linked to cancer and neurodegenerative disease. Dr. Spaulding shares, “Mentoring such a motivated, hard-working student like Kamilah is a privilege and a key part of my own scientific training”

MDIBL provides biomedical training to more than 600 students each year. As the founder and leader of the Maine INBRE program, a statewide network of 14 research and academic institutions, MDIBL and researchers like Dr. Spaulding are preparing students for 21st-century careers in science, healthcare and entrepreneurial endeavors.

Join us online on March 13, at 5:00 pm for our Science Café “Mentoring at MDIBL” and hear from Dr. Spaulding and Kamilah Bundang on the role of mentorship in science and the opportunity for students at every level to contribute to moving science forward at MDIBL.

Emily Spaulding, Ph.D. graduated from the University of Maine Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering in 2019. She joined the MDI Biological Laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow in the Updike Lab in 2020, and recently published an article in Nature Communications revealing the homolog of a well-known human protein, nucleolin, in the tiny, transparent roundworm, C. elegans. This research has implications for understanding familial ALS and Alzheimer’s disease as nucleolin is linked to human neurodegenerative disease and cancer. Dr. Spaulding is a 2022 recipient of the National Institutes of Health’s Outstanding Scholars in Neuroscience Award.

Kamilah Bundang is from Oakland, CA. From a very young age, she was enamored of the scientific and technological innovation that radiated throughout the Bay Area. Kamilah started her undergraduate career as a Bioengineering major at the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied under her first research mentor. Kamilah later transferred to the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, ME in pursuit of more academic freedom to spend more time in a lab.