University of Yaoundé I
Thesis: Biochemical and proteomic analysis of novel histone-interacting proteins
By the time he earns his PhD, Dayebgadoh Gerald will have traveled to two continents to get it. In 2006 and 2007, Gerald, who was born in northwestern Cameroon, received undergraduate degrees in biology and biochemistry at that country’s University of Yaoundé I. After teaching biology for Cameroon’s Ministry of Secondary Education, he journeyed to the University of Copenhagen for master’s studies.
Gerald says that move was a cultural, meteorological, and linguistic shock. He had grown up speaking English and also mastered French and two Cameroonian languages and so immediately took to studying Danish as a way to grasp his new environment.
Nonetheless, he calls the relocation an excellent choice, because he acquired hands-on molecular biology skills while analyzing oncogenic mutations in malignant pleural mesothelioma and later characterized epigenetic changes associated with cerebellar ataxia, work that earned him a master’s degree in human biology in 2013, and a 2014 Human Molecular Genetics publication. In addition to all of that, Gerald also found time to complete seven online courses in topics ranging from clinical trial design to epigenetic control of gene expression.
One day, perusing Nature, he read about the Stowers Institute and knew immediately that it was a good fit for him. When he visited Kansas City for his interview, he was impressed that Stowers investigators had deep biological perspectives and were interested in disease-relevant research. Gerald can relate: he chooses to study topics that have the potential to help people.