Quinlan’s interview was featured in the “People & Ideas” section of the October 2, 2017, issue of the journal.
In the article titled “Quinlan investigates how the cytoskeleton polarizes oocytes”, Quinlan discusses her passion for science, her current research, how she became a scientist, the challenges and rewards of running a laboratory, and achieving a good work-life balance.
A biochemist, Quinlan is using biochemistry, microscopy and genetic approaches to study dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton. She is currently focusing on Spire and Cappuccino, two proteins that collaborate to build an actin network essential for early body axis development in Drosophila. Combining an in vitro understanding of the mechanism of Spir and Capu with in vivo studies of oogenesis will provide insight into how the actin cytoskeleton is regulated and a broader understanding of cell polarity.
Quinlan joined the faculty of the UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in 2008. She obtained her B.A. at Reed College in 1991 and then spent two years in Germany doing research at the University of Erlangen-Nurnberg. She went to graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania where she worked with Yale Goldman and received her Ph.D. in 2002. She worked as a postdoctoral fellow in Dyche Mullins’ group at the University of California, San Francisco until she joined the UCLA faculty in 2008.
To learn more about Quinlan’s research, visit her group’s website.
Quinlan with some of her group members in 2016 – (from left) Aanand Patel, Emma Carley, Kathryn Bremer, Jeff Wang, Margot Quinlan, Alex Bradley, Joe Walsh, and William Silkworth.