Graduate student voice in the news

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BMSB PhD student Nicole Lynn (Torres lab) writes ninth article for ASBMB Today magazine as part of their contributor program.  

Lynn’s article titled “Starved to death: Can dietary methionine combat cancer?” was featured in the July 27, 2021 issue of ASBMB Today, the member magazine of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB).

The article highlights the ongoing research from Dr. Kaiser’s group at UC Irvine, which surrounds lipid metabolism in cancer, and the effects of dietary methionine on lipid metabolism and lipid synthesis in breast cancer cells.  

The ASBMB contributor’s program is a voluntary program that provides opportunities for graduate students and science professionals alike to convey stories, recount journals, and communicate science with the ASBMB community (including scientific and lay audiences). ASBMB often puts out calls for budding writers on their webpage. After having a positive experience with her first article, Lynn reached out to the editor and asked to join as an ongoing contributor.

Lynn’s first ASBMB Today article about women’s health appeared in the May 10, 2020 issue as part of the magazine’s celebration of National Women’s Health Week. Her second article titled “Decoding a protein’s role in connective tissue disorders” was featured in the magazine’s August 18, 2020 issue and her third article titled “World Pneumonia Day 2020” was featured in the November 12, 2020 issue. Her fourth article titled “I smell a winner: Linking plant olfactory stimuli to genetic regulation – Meet a JBC Herbert Tabor Early Career Investigator Award winner” was featured in the magazine’s March 15 ,2021 issue. Nicole has also written more articles covering a variety of topics, which can be found on her ASBMB homepage.

A third-year graduate student in the Biochemistry, Molecular and Structural Biology (BMSB) program, Lynn conducts research in Professor Jorge Torres’ group. She studies a human family of microtubule severing enzymes known as the Katanins, and is working to characterize their potential unique functions and capacity for compensation in cells due to observed isoform redundancies.  

As an undergraduate researcher in Professor Craig LaMunyon’s group at the California Polytechnic State University, Lynn studied the genetic and molecular biology analysis of C. elegans and investigated the effects of mutated genes on spermatogenesis. Her research there was sponsored by diversity programs including NIH funded TRIO-McNAIR and RISE (Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement), which promoted/encouraged her interest in pursuing a Ph.D. Lynn graduated from Cal Poly Pomona in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology. She joined Torres’ group in 2018.

Lynn is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, a Cellular and Molecular Biology (CMB) Training Fellow, and a Cota Robles Fellow. She is actively involved in events and outreach with the UCLA’s Graduate Biochemistry Student Association (gBSA), UCLA’s Advancing Women in Science and Engineering (AWise), and the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI), all of which engage in youth-based promotion of science in underrepresented Los Angeles communities as well as charter and other Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) based schools (examples include UCLA’s Exploring Your Universe, CNSI Nanovation, and AWise STEM day).

After receiving her Ph.D., Lynn is interested in pursuing a career in industry or potentially in translational research. 

Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry,