Graduate Student, Jacobson Lab, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
I am the most recent member to join David Jacobson’s lab! I was born and raised in New Mexico and completed my bachelor’s degree in biochemistry at New Mexico State University. I was accepted into the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (IGP) at Vanderbilt straight from undergrad in 2020. I am also in the Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD) program.
The Jacobson lab investigates the role of various ion channels in pancreatic islets. Ion channels are important in regulating hormone secretion from islets which is perturbed in diabetic patients. My project will focus on the two-pore-domain potassium channel TALK-2. Interestingly, TALK-2 is not found in rodents which has made it difficult to study. I will use human cell lines to study how TALK-2 influences calcium ER stores, membrane potential, insulin secretion, and more. This work will contribute to our understanding of calcium handling and hormone secretion of beta cells and alpha cells in the context of diabetes and will likely provide new therapeutic targets for the treatment of this disease.