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Meet Our Postdocs: Emily Spaulding, Ph.D.


Emily Spaulding, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral researcher in the Updike Lab.

Dr. Emily Spaulding 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, just two months before the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions began.

While her first year at MDI Biological Laboratory was challenging, she highlighted two areas that have made a critical difference for her: the diversity of scientific expertise and the incredible sense of community. “The great thing about MDIBL is that I can work on C. elegans (a microscopic worm) all day studying germ cells and just walk down the hall to speak to someone working on kidney regeneration in zebrafish,” she says. “This has really broadened my perspective and my knowledge base.”

Having the opportunity to work mentor with Dustin Updike, Ph.D. was what initially drew Emily 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.” Emily also cites the opportunity to pursue a scientific career in her home state of Maine as another big advantage, and familiarity with MDIBL helped too. “I did a semester-long graduate rotation here and attended the Maine Biological and Medical Sciences Symposium several times,” she explains. “Both of these experiences gave me a taste of the supportive environment available for trainees at MDIBL.”

Emily’s time as a postdoctoral researcher will provide invaluable hands-on learning and teaching experience and will form a strong foundation as she pursues her chosen career path in the coming years. During their time at MDIBL early-career scientists have the opportunity to explore important insights into tissue repair and regeneration, and forge their own, original research focus.

A post-doctoral fellowship requires an annual investment of $100,000 and financial support from our generous donors is vital in providing postdoctoral researchers the opportunity to focus on unlocking the secrets of regenerative and aging mechanisms. Donations from our community are an investment in Maine’s biosciences and are put to work training the next generation of Maine’s scientific and medical leaders.

Emily is grateful for the faith supporters put in her and gives her assurances: “Everyone at MDIBL is truly working their hardest to turn your donations into great science that will benefit human health.”

If you think the future of science is worth investing in, you can support postdoctoral researchers like Emily by donating today! Thank you.


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