Katz, Sophie (2013 - 2016)

Sophie is in the Department of Biological Chemistry.  She joined the training program in 2013. Her research mentor is Dr. Alison Frand.  She received a B.S. degree in 2008 from U. of Chicago.

Mentor: Dr. Alison Frand

Research project:

My research is focused on the molting cycle of the model nematode C.elegans, which repeatedly sheds and regrows its cuticle during development. At every molt, the epidermis detaches from the old cuticle and secretes a new one; the local extracellular matrix (ECM), cell-ECM and cell-cell attachments are fully remodeled. Particular epidermal cells also divide like stem cells near the time of the molt. I am characterizing the biophysical mechanisms that regulate these stem cells and their interactions with the ECM. Faulty interactions among cells and the ECM promote the metastasis of tumors and also contribute to pathologies of skin and connective tissue in humans, including Marfan syndrome and certain muscular dystrophies.