Five papers on a variety of related projects and one more in preparation demonstrate Emily's versatility and her ability to work well as a team member:
- First paper picked up a project mid-stream, and she demonstrated that keratinocyte growth factor increased claudin-2 expression in polarized epithelial cells
- She joined the exciting Lrig1 work in the Coffey lab, and was an author on the 2012 Cell paper reporting that Lrig1, a pan-ErbB inhibitor, was a marker of intestinal stem cells and a tumor suppressor.
- First author paper on different subsets of Lrig1+ cells in the mouse colon, which cleared up a standing controversy in the field because different cells were identified by different Lrig1+ antibodies. Emily determined that the root cause was that athe antibodies recognized different glycosylated forms of Lrig1.
- Two more papers on Lrig1 as a tumor suppressor
- Developed a mouse model of colon cancer by introducing activatable mutant Kras an APC background, using Lrig1-CRE to induce conditional expression (in preparation)
- She was invited to speak at an international conference on her Lrig1 work, the Midnight Sun Symposium, an intense international meeting focused on Lrig proteins and growth factor signaling in Abisko, Sweden in 2014. She was mistaken for a senior postdoc at this conference because of her excellent presentation.
- She graduated this year, receiving an “Exemplary” mark on her thesis, and she has moved on to do a postdoc in the lab of Kevin Hagis at Harvard, to study ras mutations in the pathogenesis of myeloproliferative disease, or cancers of the blood cells. (the lab where Ken Lau did his postdoctoral work). Chris Wright wrote to Dr. Hagis to say that he should be enormously proud to have Emily join his program, “that she will emerge as a leader and role model.”
From her mentor, Bob Coffey:
“Emily is very smart, and has a knack for explaining the intricacies of experimental approaches and technical details in clear, simple language. She also has a talent for digesting large amounts of material about a particular subject in a short amount of time and has educated me about new topics on numerous occasions… She is fearless in tackling new problems and acquiring new skills to solve them. [She] is an outstanding writer and editor…[and] has played an active and essential part in writing many of my successfully funded grants and is acknowledged for writing and editing expertise in every manuscript published by the lab.”
From her thesis committee Chair, Chris Wright:
“Emily made a wide decision…to depart from one or two of her own projects that unfortunately – because of the biology…--could not be moved into a productive phase. She could then place more emphasis on her other projects…[T]he “sorting out” process that Emily went through was an important learning point, and led to her gaining resilience and flexibility.”
Emily has already moved to Boston, so accepting this award for her is her former lab mate and friend, Alina Starchenko.