Dr. Jasmine Gaines is a recent two-time graduate of UAB, earning a Ph.D. concentrating in cellular and molecular biology in December 2006. She initially joined the UAB family as an undergraduate in Fall 1995. She received her B.S. in Biology in June 2000. After working for one year, and with the encouragement and support of Dr. Stephen Watts, Jasmine began graduate studies at UAB in the Department of Biology in Fall 2001. Within the Biology Department, she found ease in working and collaborating with researchers in other departments on campus. Jasmine joined the laboratory of Dr. Theresa Strong in the Department of Medicine. Her dissertation research entailed characterizing sperm protein 17 (Sp17) in somatic cells and cancer.

During her graduate career, Jasmine participated in several educational workshops, scientific seminars, and presented her doctoral research in oral and poster presentations. She was the recipient of two Minority Scholar Awards that allowed her to present her research at the 2003 and 2005 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meetings. In Spring 2006, her graduate research efforts were commended as an honorable mention for the Department of Medicine’s Samuel B. Barker Award for Excellence in Research Trainee Symposium. Jasmine also served as a mentor, student leader and participated on many committees. She was the 2004-2005 Vice-President and 2005-2006 President of the UAB Graduate Student Association (GSA). Her leadership skills earned her the 2006 University Leadership and Service Award.

Jasmine is currently a Postdoctoral Scholar participating in the Morehouse School of Medicine/Tuskegee University/UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center Partnership Research Training Program. She has an interest in studying the genetic and environmental factors that underlie racial and ethnic differences in cancer outcomes.

Overall, she states that her experiences at UAB have more than met her expectations. “My basic science training in the field of cancer research as a graduate student was very fulfilling. Being apart of the Comprehensive Cancer Center, I had access to the latest technology, equipment and resources, in addition to many renown researchers from whom I was able to receive advice and direction. In the laboratory, I was able to work independently and encouraged to incorporate my ideas into projects. I also had the opportunity to serve as a TA for several undergraduate courses in the Department of Biology. The undergraduate laboratories that I instructed were very rewarding and allowed me to experience the joys and sorrows of being an instructor. Serving as a member on several committees and as the President of the Graduate Student Association, I became familiar with the administrative aspect of academia. All of the enriching experiences that I gained at UAB as a graduate researcher gave me the opportunity to enhance my networking skills, and will ultimately help me to develop and evolve into an effective Research Professor.”

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