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Postdoc Profile: Michael Church

Q&A with Stowers Postdoc Michael Church: “When I got the opportunity to join the Workman Lab, I jumped at the chance.”

17 January 2024

What is your current research focus and why?

I try to answer how our cells sense and respond to nutrition on a molecular level. It’s important to know how these basic processes work, as they’re often dysregulated in diseases such as cancer.

Growing up, what career did you want to pursue?

Growing up in Ireland, art was my best subject in school, so for a long time I wanted to work in that area. I figured it’s easier to do art in your spare time than science, so I eventually chose the latter as a career.

When and how did you become interested in a career in science?

I always loved watching nature documentaries, but I got properly interested in biology when I was around 15 and we started learning about molecular biology at school. When I learned what a Ph. D. was, I wanted to go down that path as it sounded like a lot of fun.

What made you decide to join the Workman lab at the Stowers Institute?

My Ph.D. project was on chromatin-associated proteins, and since Jerry Workman is a pioneer in that area, I was familiar with his work. When I got the opportunity to join the lab, I jumped at the chance.

What is your favorite non-research related memory at the Stowers Institute so far?

Probably attending colleagues’ wedding celebrations, or the Institute’s holiday parties.

What is your favorite thing to do in Kansas City?

Going to concerts and breweries in the Crossroads Art district or running on the many trails!

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Hopefully doing interesting and engaging work.

What advice do you have for other people curious about a career in science?

If you are in contact with professors and/or researchers, talk to them and ask for advice about internship opportunities. If not, reach out to scientists on social media. If there’s one thing scientists like to talk about, it’s doing science.

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