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Where Are They Now: Michelle Goody

Michelle Goody graduated from SBE in 2007 and is now conducting post-doctoral research in the Molecular and Biomedical Sciences Department here at UMaine under Dr. Carol Kim. She obtained a Ph.D from the UMaine Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in August 2012 and studied under SBE professor Clarissa Henry.

Most of Goody’s current research involves the study of zebrafish, which she uses to test certain diseases and pathogens. By studying the cell adhesion in zebrafish muscle development and disease, she can investigate the health of muscle tissue in response to inflammatory diseases, such as virus infection. “Most cells have adhesion to their surroundings, and many diseases come from when this cell adhesion fails,” explained Goody. In order to prevent this adhesion failure, she treats them with NAD+ and vitamins.

As an undergraduate in SBE, she majored in biology and worked in Dr. Mary Rumpho’s lab cleaning the sea slug aquaria and maintaining the algae for the first two years of college. The summer after her third year, she worked in Dr. Seanna Annis’s lab looking at fungal diseases of blueberry plants. Both of these jobs were valuable to her in gaining research skills. One of Goody’s most influential SBE professors, Dr. Mary Tyler, suggested graduate school to Goody. Tyler helped in setting up a meeting with Dr. Clarissa Henry, which led to Goody’s Ph.D. “With that suggestion, Mary Tyler greatly impacted my future and set me on the course to discovering my love for scientific research,” explained Goody.

Goody says that her undergraduate education in Biology allows her to approach biomedical research from a different perspective. “I generally tend to think and make connections on ‘larger size scales’ than many biomedical researchers, which makes my approach a nice compliment to ‘smaller size scale’ molecular and microbiology studies,” she affirmed.

In the future, Goody hopes to become a professor here at UMaine. “I love UMaine and living here in general,” she said. “I also like the research side of things. Watching the zebrafish embryo cells divide fascinates me.”

Best wishes to Michelle Goody as she continues her zebrafish studies.

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