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From Cancer Research to Regulatory Affairs, Former Grad Student Takes on the World

From Cancer Research to Regulatory Affairs, Former Grad Student Takes on the World

Shameika Wilmington came to UT Austin with a passion for doing research that matters.

Wilmington graduated in the spring with her Ph.D. and began work with Procter & Gamble as a regulatory affairs scientist, a highly sought-after position in industry for scientists with doctoral degrees. Now in Boston, Wilmington applies her research and analysis skills while working at the crossroads of both private and public sectors.

While pursuing her Ph.D. in the lab of Molecular Biologist and Biochemist Andreas Matouschek, Wilmington studied the proteasome, a machine within cells that works to clear out proteins that can be unnecessary or even harmful to a cell. Wilmington educated others about how, when certain proteins become toxic and aggregate, it contributes to diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's. Her own research with Matouschek focused on helping the proteasome do its job more effectively and often.

"We wanted to develop a way to get rid of these toxic proteins using the proteasome, a powerful machine that is responsible for maintaining the well-being of the cell by regulating all of the proteins within it," Wilmington says. "The research tool that we have developed is an amazing technology platform that can play a role in the future development of drugs to treat cancer."

In a paper published this spring in the journal PLOS One, she and Matoushchek report on their work—the culmination of Wilmington's years of research.

Graduate students in the College of Natural Sciences play many critical roles, from educating undergraduates to conducting research in faculty-led labs to leading outreach initiatives to making world-changing discoveries. Watch the video below, featuring more about Wilmington and her research, and check out last year's Special Graduate Student edition of the Texas Scientist to see more of the exciting things our graduate students make possible.

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Saturday, 23 September 2017

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