Graduate Student Highlight: Jeanine Amacher

On April 4, 2014 by Grad Forum

amacher_profile_thumbnailThe Graduate Forum would like to congratulate Jeanine Amacher on her recent acceptance of a postdoctoral position starting in June 2014 in the lab of Professor John Kuriyan at the University of California, Berkeley. Amacher recently completed her PhD in the Department of Biochemistry. With a background in physics from the University of Oregon, Amacher came to Dartmouth knowing she wanted to apply her quantitative skills to research biological molecules.

During her time here, Amacher has worked in Professor Dean Madden’s structural biology lab where she conducts research on protein structure and protein-protein interactions. While Amacher enjoys looking at proteins at the atomic level, her research has implications for health and medicine on a much larger scale. Work on small-scale protein interactions could have important implications for understanding cystic fibrosis. Along with her collaborators, Amacher published an article on her research earlier this year in Structure.

In addition to her achievements in the lab, Amacher has taken full advantage of all that Dartmouth has to offer. From mentoring countless students, to being a member of the MCB graduate committee that aids in the recruitment and selection process of incoming graduate students, to starting the PI-track (PIT) graduate student group on campus, being a leader comes naturally to Amacher. She has also given back to the Dartmouth community through taking part in the Graduate Student Council (GSC) and writing for the Graduate Forum. Additionally, you may cross paths with Amacher at Alumni Gym where she teaches a high-energy spin class. Amacher has also contributed to the wider Upper Valley community through activities such as volunteering for Science Cafés through the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning (DCAL), bringing science to local middle schools. Lastly, supported by the Graduate Studies Travel Award and Epithelial and Molecular and Cellular Biology Training Grants, Amacher has had the opportunity to travel across the nation and even overseas to Greece to present her research and attend conferences.

Amacher hopes to ultimately become a principal investigator with a lab of her own. When asked to reflect back on her graduate career at Dartmouth, she stresses the importance of finding a good research advisor and mentor. “Choose someone who will not only mentor you for the next few years, but who you trust to help guide your career for decades.”

PhD in hand and enthusiastic about moving back to the West Coast, Amacher reflects on her success: “It’s actually a lot of little moments that brought me to this point.” She adds, “The days when I took a step back from this or that experiment that wasn’t working to go running and clear my head, spend the afternoon playing around with my data, or cruise around Google and available protein databases, are the days that shaped my graduate school success.”

by Pinar Gurel

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