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Meet 2023 GRAM Recipient: Dylan Schultz

From Dylan:

“I am a 3rd year PhD student in Stephan Schmitz-Esser’s lab.  My GRAM proposal topic centers around trying to figure out how Cardinium hertigii, a bacterial symbiont of many insects and arachnids, manipulates the reproduction of some its hosts through a mechanism called cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI).  CI involves Cardinium somehow sabotaging the sperm of males it infects so that those males can only produce viable offspring with females also infected by Cardinium.  My GRAM project plans to use yeast as a simplified system to produce fluorescently labelled Cardinium proteins we believe may be involved in CI.  We will perform microscopy to observe the localization of those proteins within yeast cells to help us better determine which proteins Cardinium uses to induce CI in its natural hosts. 

I have always been very grateful for the personal and structural support system hardwired into and built up within the IM program.  This includes the approachable professors, my peers in the Microbiology Graduate Student Organization, and the program’s constant support of its students through actions such as backing travel for academic purposes and providing funding for interesting research (e.g. this award). 

As far as the future goes, I am still undecided where I want my career to take me after graduation.  However, my main goal is to end up in an enjoyable industry/government/nonprofit position where my work can have some kind of positive impact on the world.”