Morgane Golan Recognized as Rising Researcher

Commonwealth Honors College student and pre-veterinary science major, Morgane Golan ’20, joined Dr. Wei Cui’s lab in 2018, and embraced the freedom to dream bigger. She planned on becoming a clinical veterinarian, but her goals shifted to research when she became a fellow in the Lee Science Impact Program (Lee SIP), a donor-funded program in the College of Natural Sciences designed to expand and broaden participation in undergraduate research.

As a scholar and member of Dr. Cui’s lab, Golan has contributed to a number of research investigations in embryo culture and genotyping, and animal modeling processes. “We study genes that are required for mammalian embryonic development, by regulating or ‘knocking out’ their function, to evaluate the developmental progress following this sort of mutation,” says Golan.

Golan adjusted to the lab’s pace quickly. “The more time that I spent in the lab, the more I wanted to be there. I love the personal satisfaction and exhilaration that come with fantastic results…This role has imbued me with a sense of confidence and self-awareness. Because of my experience as a young, female research scientist, I have been offered unique opportunities to work with diverse groups and achieve heightened levels of success, ”says Golan.

Her contributions to one particular knockout study of Mediator Complex Subunit 20 (Med20), which plays a role in gene transcription and whose dysregulation has been linked with intellectual disability in humans, resulted in Golan’s co-authorship of a paper in the Journal of Reproduction. Her honors thesis investigates the embryonic role of Replication Factor C1, a subunit factor involved in the catalysis of DNA synthesis that has implications in aging. “It has been determined that cleavage of the subunit adversely affects cellular proliferation, resulting in the phenotypic expression of the genetic disorder Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome,” says Golan. She hopes to publish a paper on her thesis results next spring.

“I love the research that I do in these projects because it bridges the gap between complex scientific theories and real-world implications. This research also presents hope that we might someday be able to minimize the prevalence of these genetic abnormalities and limit their terrible prognoses in human medicine,” says Golan.

Read more at https://www.umass.edu/researchnext/researcher/be-revolutionary?fbclid=Iw…