Jacob Irby (Lab Technician)
My life in a laboratory began when I was offered an opportunity by the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville, Virginia, to analyze differential expression of metalloproteinases via RT-PCR within differentiated tissues of a Poplar tree. After studying music at the University of Virginia (CLAS 2015), my studies continued in Plant Biotechnology within the Department of Botany/Biochemistry at the University of Otago, New Zealand (BSc 2018/MSc 2021).
The sustainability of this speck, at least in the grand scheme of stardust, our species refers to as “home” is contingent upon the conversion of photons, an influx of energy provided to Earth’s closed system and emitted from our neighbouring star, to a biochemically-usable form – this process is referred to as photosynthesis. Yet, cells which produce this fantastic set of reactions require acclimatization strategies of the photosynthetic apparatus due to harmful changes within the extracellular environment. Innate interactions between pigment-associated protein complexes are typically analyzed via spectroscopy: visualization of resultant curves and response differentiation are particularly interesting! To study such phenomena with Dr. Burlacot and work at the Department of Plant Biology and Department of Global Ecology is an honor.
I enjoy singing alongside musical soundtracks and aimlessly contemplating applications of topological concepts when I am not in the lab!