A capstone experience in the Queen's Biology undergraduate program is the Honours Thesis. This year, I had the pleasure of mentoring two extraordinarily talented young women - 4th-year students Danalyn Holmes and Alexandra Johnson Dingee. Both worked on deciphering the function of the Ca2+-dependent protein kinase CPK28 in Arabidopsis. We and others have shown that this kinase functions in both developmental and immune pathways. Danalyn used epistasis analysis to test if the proteins involved in CPK28-mediated immune signalling are also required for CPK28-mediated developmental signalling. Alex took a trans-complementation approach to test the role of phosphorylation in directing CPK28 function in the two pathways. Together, Danalyn and Alex have made significant contributions to our research program.
Both were recognized with Second Place prizes in the Cell & Molecular Biology section. Very well deserved - congrats on a job well done!