David Dolivo, PhD Student

Hometown: Elgin, IL

Previous degree/school where degree was earned:
BS Biochemistry, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL

Why did you choose WPI for your PhD?
I first heard about WPI at a graduate school fair in Chicago. After looking into the department of Biology and Biotechnology, I was drawn particularly to the research of several faculty members, including that of Tanja Dominko. The research taking place at WPI was, to me, intriguing due to the tremendous amount of collaboration taking place not only between labs but between departments and even between separate institutions in the vicinity. The IGERT fellowship made WPI an even more attractive institution for me, as it allows for interdisciplinary training and professional development experiences that most PhD students never get to go through.

In which professor's lab are you currently working?
Tanja Dominko

Briefly describe the research:
The Dominko lab focuses on the plasticity and proliferative potential of primary human fibroblasts. We investigate the effects of ambient hypoxia and introduction of growth factors into the culture medium on the expression of stem-related genes and the proliferative capacity prior to cellular senescence. In particular, I am interested in investigating the mechanism by which these modifications to in vitro culture conditions allow for an extended proliferative lifespan before the cells enter the senescent state, and whether this occurs by methods that are telomeric, metabolic, antioxidant, hormetic, etc. in nature.

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