Former Colby INBRE Student Authors Paper in Scientific Reports Journal

Colby College graduate Laura Drepanos (B.A., 2023, Computational Biology) is the first author of a paper recently published in the journal Scientific Reports, describing findings from her undergraduate research. The article, Loss of Krüppel-like factor 9 deregulates both physiological gene expression and development, presents research related to the function of a biomedically important, stress responsive transcription factor, Krüppel-like factor 9 (Klf9). Drepanos’ participation in Colby’s January 2021 INBRE short course on RNA-seq data analysis sparked an interest in independent research. She was awarded an INBRE undergraduate research fellowship during the summer of 2021, during which she was co-mentored by Drs. Joel Graber and James Coffman, analyzing data from an RNA-seq experiment that had been performed by graduate student Ian Gans in the Coffman lab to determine how gene expression and Klf9 function vary with time of day in zebrafish larvae. She continued this work under the mentorship of Dr. Andrea Tilden at Colby and the Bioinfomatics Core through the Maine INBRE Bioinformatics Scholars program during the academic year. That work, together with follow up experiments carried out in the Coffman lab, culminated in the published paper.

Drepanos also held academic year fellowships at the Jackson Laboratory, working in the lab of Dr. Gregory Carter to study genetic factors that alter neurological pathways and potentially lead to human diseases like Alzheimer’s and lupus. She is currently employed as a Computational Associate at the Broad Institute of Harvard & MIT, working in research and development on their functional genomics Genetic Perturbation Platform.

Additional authors on the paper include Ian Gans, a former University of Maine graduate student who was awarded his Ph.D. in 2022 and is now a postdoctoral research fellow in the Myocardial Biology and Heart Failure lab at the MaineHealth Institute for Research; Janelle Grendler, a University of Maine Machias graduate and alum of the ME-INBRE student research program who is a Research Assistant in the Coffman Lab at MDI Biological Laboratory; Sophia Guitar, a student at Lafayette College who worked as an undergraduate research fellow in the Coffman lab in 2022, as well as Drs. Tilden, Graber, and Coffman, and INBRE Bioinformatics Core staff.

Drepanos L, Gans IM, Grendler J, Guitar S, Fuqua JH, Maki NJ, Tilden AR, Graber JH, Coffman JA. Loss of Krüppel-like factor 9 deregulates both physiological gene expression and development. Sci Rep. 2023 Jul 28;13(1):12239. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-39453-3. PMID: 37507475; PMCID: PMC10382561.