Janna Moen

Entering Class - 2015

E-MAIL: jkmoen@umn.edu

UNDERGRAD INSTITUTION AND MAJOR:
Saint Anselm College, B.A. Biology, 2014

UNDERGRADUATE AWARDS:

  • Integrated Biological Sciences Summer Research Program (IBS-SRP), 2013
  • New Hampshire Idea Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (NH-INBRE) Fellow, 2013-2014
  • Summa Cum Laude at Saint Anselm College, 2014
  • Postbaccalaureate Cancer Research Training Award (CRTA), 2014-2015

UNDERGRADUATE OR POST-BAC RESEARCH:
My post-baccalaureate research at the National Institutes of Health involved studying the drug transport protein P-glycoprotein (P-gp), which is found at most pharmacological barriers in the human body. I was working at the National Cancer Institute, so our studies focused on multidrug-resistance (MDR) in cancer treatment. P-gp is overexpressed in many MDR cancers, and it functions to efflux chemotherapeutic agents from cancer cells and protect them from the drug's cytotoxic effects. Our lab and our collaborators have been attempting to crystallize P-gp for almost two decades with no success. My project involved characterizing, expressing, and purifying chimeric P-gp constructs for x-ray crystallography experiments.

GRADUATE ADVISOR
Anna Lee, Ph.D., Department of Pharmacology

ROTATIONS

WHAT GOT YOU INTERESTED IN RESEARCH?
I've always loved science and medicine, and for a long time I wanted to be a clinician. Once I went to college, I realized my true passion was the science behind medical advancements, and I completed a full-time summer internship to see what a career in research might be like. I absolutely loved it and decided that graduate school, and a career in biomedical research, was the right fit for me.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE MN?
Several reasons, the first and foremost being the very clear dedication the program has to the education and well-being of their students. Not only is it a nationally ranked program, but interview weekend showed me that …faculty members are heavily invested in their students. I have heard many stories about institutions that treat their graduate programs as a sort of "PhD factory", and I wanted a school that cared about more than just my scientific achievements. The graduate students were also a cohesive and welcoming body, and it was comforting to know they would be a great resource for us not only for academic advice but personal advice as well. The course-heavy nature of this program was also a considerable factor, as I had no neuroscience experience coming into my first year and wanted to make sure I had a strong foundation in the subject before beginning my thesis work. Finally, I really liked the idea of spending a month at Itasca and getting to know faculty and students. It was the perfect opportunity to learn about science while getting to know my classmates in a low-stress environment.

STUDENT MENTOR AND THE BEST ADVICE THEY GAVE.
Julia Gamache gave me great advice at the beginning of the semester about preparing for classes. She has been super helpful with sending me resources and generally letting me know how to survive the first semester of grad school.

Janna Moen