FEATURED FACULTY MEMBER
Dr. Robert Cumming
Redox Proteomics and Cell Biology
Visit Dr Cumming's website
Robert Cumming did his undergraduate at the University of Toronto at Mississauga, and his PhD in Molecular & Medical Genetics at the University of Toronto. He spent a few years as a postdoc at the Salk Institute in San Diego before joining Biology at Western in 2007. Robert’s office is peppered with Californian memorabilia, with Francis Crick, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, featuring in several pictures. Pointing to a picture, he says “on that day, I was mentoring a high school student, and we were in the darkroom looking at a gel. It was the first time she had seen DNA. There was a knock on the door, and my advisor said ‘do you want to meet somebody?’, and walked us across to Dr Crick’s office. So this student got to see DNA and then immediately afterwards meet the guy who figured out its structure!”
Dr Cumming’s current research focuses on Huntington’s disease, an inherited, degenerative, neurological disorder. He is interested in identifying how some proteins change in Huntington’s disease, and how oxidative stress contributes to the development of the disease. Dr Cumming has space in his lab for one or two students for Fall 2010, and encourages prospective students to contact him by email.
Five Questions for Dr Cumming:
When I was growing up I wanted to be... an inventor. I was inspired by the Illustrated Science and Invention encyclopedia set I had as a kid.
My favorite organism is... Drosophila because of the ease of genetic manipulation and it is a surprisingly good organism for modeling human disease.
My first publication was about... overexpressing the Fanconi Anemia group C gene in blood progenitor cells and preventing apoptosis.
My favorite piece of research was... when I demonstrated that protein disulfide bonding readily occurs in the cytoplasm of mammalian cells, which essentially overturned an entrenched dogma in the field.
Biology at Western is... extremely dynamic and fun.
FEATURED STAFF MEMBER
Jacqui Griffin joined the biology department as Secretary in 2008, after working for UWO Housing Services as the secretary for Delaware Hall. Jacqui is responsible for mail, room bookings, reception and assists with applications to the graduate programme. Many of the more absent-minded faculty also interact with her on a regular basis because she also provides spare keys for those who lock theirs in their offices. Although biologists tend to be a rowdy bunch, Jacqui comes well-prepared; as the person on the front desk at Delaware Hall she dealt frequently with all manner of undergraduate misbehaviour, including frequent microwave popcorn-induced fires. Although the renovations in B&G have led to plenty of fire alarms, most biologists seem to be able to keep their popcorn under control. Jacqui has a degree in Art History from Western, and as a result, particularly enjoys the visual aspects of Biology.
Five Questions for Jacqui Griffin:
My favourite organism is ... the stick insects in the lunch room aquarium. I never would have thought that an insect that hardly moves when I am watching it, could be so interesting; I can't walk by without trying to find them all and seeing what they are up to.
The strangest thing I’ve seen in this job is... a fruit fly with legs where its mouth should be.
When I’m not at work, I also... sing in the Orchestra London chorus, play the flute in the New Horizons band program and knit too many scarves
The best thing about being in Biology is... that the people are so friendly, lead such interesting lives and I am always learning something fascinating about Biology.
LINKS TO OTHER FEATURED FACULTY and STAFF
- Dr. Irena Creed
- Dr. Amanda Moehring
- Dr. Brent Sinclair
- Dr. Jack Millar
- Dr. John Wiebe
- Dr. Brent Sinclair
- Dr. Greg Kelly
Check back to this page regularly as we will be highlighting news breaking research/awards by other members of our Biology Department. To find out about other research in our Department please follow the links to individual faculty web sites
This page was last updated on
November 5, 2010
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