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Meet Our Postdocs: Hyemin Min, Ph.D.

Hyemin Min, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral researcher in the Updike Lab. She studies the role of germ granules, small particles found just outside of our reproductive cells. Although germ granules were discovered more than 100 years ago, their composition, structure, assembly and function are not well understood. 

Hyemin is one of the newest postdoctoral researchers to join the MDI Biological Laboratory, arriving in July 2021 to begin her final stage of scientific training. She hails from Seoul, Korea and completed her master’s and doctoral degrees at Konkuk University of Korea. Under the guidance of her advisor, Professor Yhong-Hee Shim, she studied the function of P-granules (a type of germ granule) on the mechanism of germ cell apoptosis during oogenesis in C. elegans (a microscopic round worm.)

During her Ph.D., Hyemin was awarded a David W. Towle Summer Fellowship, and spent time as a visiting graduate student at MDIBL. “I was so lucky,” she says. “I was able to experience seminars on interesting topics and get to know the research facilities here, and Dustin is the best mentor!” It was this wonderful experience that drew her back to after the completion of her Ph.D. to work with Dustin.

Hyemin will spend three to five years at the MDI Biological Laboratory, developing an original area of of study, demonstrating her productivity and taking the lead on authoring articles about her research. In short, this will become the basis of her career, a strong foundation she can continue to build on as she heads into a faculty position of her own. Postdoctoral researchers are also vital to the progress of any Lab group – they bring ideas and expertise, and often allow a research group to expand its focus to an additional project.

Despite her relative newness to the community, Hyemin has already experienced the factors that we know make MDIBL so special; people’s warmth and support. She believes it’s always best to be surrounded by people who are collaborative in their research, ask interesting questions and talk openly about science (and we’d have to say we agree!) “MDI Biological Laboratory is a place that fully draws out my research capabilities through a well-organized system,” she says. “It’s a perfect fit.”

A postdoctoral position requires $100,000 investment each year. While some federal funding opportunities exist, independent financial support is vital to allowing postdoctoral researchers to complete their last stage of training while they progress important research questions. Supporting postdoctoral fellows is investing in the very future of science itself and Hyemin is thankful of the support of our generous donors. “Thank you, you’re the reason I’m here in Maine,” she says. “You’ve made me who I am today – and together I feel we can change the future of human health.”

If you’d like to invest in the future of science by supporting postdoctoral researchers, like Hyemin, please donate today! Thank you.

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