Elia Hefner, Ph.D.
Biochemistry & Biophysics
University of Michigan – Biological Chemistry
Sharon Campbell, Ph.D.
During my time in the SPIRE program, I worked with both Miriam Braunstein and Sharon Campbell. In the Braunstein laboratory, I learned how to culture Mycobacterium smegmatis, a model system for M. tuberculosis, and used western blotting to look for complexes containing proteins implicated in transporting effector proteins during infection. I also began developing a thin layer chromatography assay to detect different lipids in the inner and outer membranes of mycobacteria. In the Campbell laboratory, I set up insect cell culture and purification schemes to express prenylated, proteolyzed wild type and oncogenic K-Ras to study interactions between K-Ras and the various proteins it interacts with during signaling cascades. I also learned and utilized a fluorescent binding assay that I used to characterize binding interactions between K-Ras and Ras-binding domains of various K-Ras binding proteins.