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Program Directors:

Mailing Address:

Siebel Scholars Foundation
1300 Seaport Blvd., Suite 400
Redwood City, CA 94063


(650) 299-5260

2010 - Kristen Naegle

Kristen is making data easier to capture and share with other biologists and bioengineers in her field.

Kristen is developing computational tools that will help biologists share, store, and analyze data on post-translational modifications (PTM) in cells – the process whereby cells can quickly alter the function or localization of a protein within a cell. One of the tools she is developing is a website that, for the first time, will offer a central repository for PTM data that researchers around the world could access to perform broader, more in depth analysis.

Kristen is primarily interested in understanding how post-translational modifications relate to cancer and other diseases.  Phosphorylation is a PTM that is essential for basic cellular processes.  It is the trigger that allows cells to enter the cell cycle and divide, or helps to translate an external cue, such as insulin, into a change in the cellular process, such as insulin uptake.  These modifications are often central in diseases such as cancer and diabetes.  Understanding their role in the cell will be critical to improving therapeutics for their treatment.

Kristen successfully defended her thesis in early May and will soon begin her post-doctoral work at MIT.  During her doctoral research, she worked to identify what may be a bridge within a cell across which biological information could travel.  For her post-doc, she hopes to confirm hypotheses regarding specific proteins that may serve as this bridge, by binding to both the receptor and cytoskeleton of a cell.

Kristen has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington and a Master’s degree and Ph.D. in Bioengineering from MIT.