Rowyn Church Liebau
Short Research Description
Previous Institution: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, School of the Arts
Full Research Description
I was born and raised in Highland Park NJ, just across the river from Rutgers University. At Rutgers I narrowed down my general interest in science to a Molecular Biology focus with help from the Driscoll Lab where I worked throughout my undergraduate career. In the lab I studied the regulation of dietary restriction, a starvation response mechanism, in the C. elegans nematode. I discovered that a family of related micro RNAs create a complex regulatory system to control activation of the pathway. Manipulation of these genes can trigger the pathway when the nematode is not starved, leading to a significantly longer lifespan. In my senior year I defended my senior thesis as the culmination of all my work.
My four years of experience at the Driscoll lab have fostered an interest in the study of aging. I believe that aging will be one of the most important medical problems of the coming years as people continue to live longer lives. There are many fields of study relevant to lifespan, such as metabolic rate / rate of life, ROS control, and stem cells and senescence, so I plan on exploring a breath of techniques and systems at Columbia University.
In my free time I like to run, hike, and read. I am sure that I will find many new ways to occupy myself at Columbia and in New York.