Grad Appreciation Week Poster Session Winner, Anna Hatch

On April 30, 2014 by Grad Forum

Congratulations to Anna Hatch, graduate student in the Molecular and Cellular Biology Program, who was one of four winners of the Graduate Poster Session held recently in Alumni Hall! (Below is a summary of Hatch’s poster.)

Poster Title: Actin-Dependent Mitochondrial Fission Mediated by Drp1, the Formin INF2, and Myosin II


Professor in the Department of Chemistry, Ivan Aprahamian (left), who served as a judge during the Graduate Poster Session, presents the award to Anna Hatch.

Cellular machinery requires routine maintenance, similar to a car needing a tune-up or an oil change. Mitochondria are one example of cellular machines that need upkeep. During a process called fission, the mitochondrion will divide into two pieces as a means to remove damaged parts.

At first splitting in two sounds straightforward. In fact, the cell utilizes many components in a series of highly coordinated steps to divide the mitochondrion efficiently. I am using a combination of biochemistry and molecular biology to better understand how specific components of the fission machinery are recruited to the mitochondrion.

In patients with neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, or Parkinson’s disease, mitochondrial fission is impaired—demonstrating how important routine maintenance is, even at a molecular level.

poster summary by Anna Hatch

Hatch, along with the other poster winners, explains her research in this video:

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