Leah Dannenberg Successfully Defends Master’s Degree
Published: Monday, November 6, 2017
Congratulations to Leah Dannenberg for successfully defending her master’s degree! Leah is a graduate student in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program at the University of Florida with Elaine Seaver as her mentor. For her master’s research, Leah studied the formation of the germline, a group of cells in the embryo that gives rise to eggs and sperm in adult animals. The importance of these cells is that they are the only cells that are passed from generation to generation. Through experimental manipulations using an infrared laser, Leah discovered that the germline can be replaced by other cells in the animal after its removal in the marine worm Capitella teleta. This was a surprising finding because in many other animals, removal of the germline results in sterile adult animals. Leah has proposed that this special ability to regenerate its germline might be tied to Capitella’s ability to regenerate other lost body parts.
Leah’s first exposure to research at Whitney Lab was as an undergraduate as an REU intern, also performing research in the Seaver lab. As a graduate student ,she co-taught the ethics course, a core activity in the REU program.
Pictured is Leah with her masters committee members (from left to right) Dr. Naohiro Terada from the department of pathology, immunology and laboratory medicine, Dr. Mark Martindale from Whitney Lab, Leah Dannenberg with her son Solomon, “Solly,” Dr. Elaine Seaver from Whitney Lab, and Dr. James Resnick from the department of molecular genetics and microbiology.