Scientist of the Week: Ben Glover

April West

As for his beginnings with science, senior biochemist Ben Glover stated, “I have always been driven by my curiosity and that’s what science is all about. Science lets people figure out how things work and apply this knowledge to solve problems.”His first research experience was in chemistry here at Lawrence learning different techniques for testing water quality, as well as testing the level of polychlorinated biphenyls in the Fox River by looking at zebra mussel tissue. In his second summer research position at Lawrence, Glover began working on his current project with biology professor Beth DeStasio.

Glover is currently working on a project that has been going on for more than 10 years concerning muscle protein interactions in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans by looking at both the genetic and molecular aspects.

Glover is looking at three different proteins and the specific way that they interact.

These proteins are believed to form part of the potassium channel complex and their interactions help to bring about muscle contraction. He is employing two main techniques: a genetic approach and a molecular approach.

From the genetic approach, he has found that if protein A is mutated, then the organism experiences paralysis. However, if protein B is mutated as well, it counteracts the effect of the mutation in protein A and the muscle is no longer paralyzed.

Glover is currently looking to see if C interacts with A in the same way B does, and that will give him an idea of the proteins interact.

The molecular technique is a relatively new approach; a more direct method that will give more concrete evidence about the exact manner in which the three proteins interact and also serve as a check on the results of the genetic approach and the experiment as a whole.

Glover hopes to work on this project further for his honors project and also go on to medical school, although not necessarily for research.

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