MDI Biological Laboratory
Associate Professor

Dustin Updike, Ph.D.

How do stem cells maintain pluripotency -- the capacity to become other cell types in the body? Can our ability to regenerate after disease or injury be improved with the ability to switch on and off cellular pluripotency?

To answer these and other questions, the Updike Lab derives cues from quintessential stem cells found in the germline. Germline stem cells (GSCs) are the precursors to oocytes and sperm, and these cells must retain their stem cell attributes so that fertilized embryos can give rise to all of the cell types of each subsequent generation.

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  • Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Santa Cruz, 2007-2012
  • Ph.D., University of Utah, 2006
  • B.S., University of Wyoming, 1999

Lab Members

Hyemin Min, Ph.D.Postdoctoral Researcher

Hyemin Min, Postdoctoral Researcher, 2015 MS and 2020 PhD in Bioscience & Biotechnology from Konkuk University in Seoul, Korea. At MDIBL, Dr. Min investigates the role of germ granules and translational regulation during spermatogenesis as well as conserved signaling events at the onset of fertilization. (

Emily Spaulding, Ph.D.Postdoctoral Researcher

Emily Spaulding, Postdoctoral Researcher, 2005 BS in Biology and 2010 MS of Secondary Science Education from Gordon College, 2019 PhD in Biomedical Sciences through the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences & Engineering (GSBSE) while at the Jackson Laboratory. At MDIBL, Dr. Spaulding investigates core germ granule interactions and the role of intrinsically disordered motifs that are common to both germ granules and nucleoli. (

Catherine SharpResearch Assistant II

Catherine Sharp, Research Assistant II, 2015 BS in Biology from Colby College. At MDIBL, Catherine investigates the function of several core germ-granule proteins and their role in cellular potency and germ cell identity. She has streamlined the process of CRISPR-based genomic engineering in the Updike lab. (

Noah LindResearch Assistant

Noah Lind, Research Assistant, 2021 BS in Biochemistry from the University of Vermont. At MDIBL, Noah is studying germline phase separation and how it affects protein translation. (