Professor Melanie Gubbels Bupp
Whitney Edwards '12 is the recipient of the Forrester Family Scholarship. She is
shown here with Charlotte and Dick Forrester '57.
Randolph-Macon College Biology Professor Melanie
Gubbels Bupp has received a Jeffress Memorial Trust Research Grant for her research
project titled Do Foxo transcription factors protect T cells from reactive oxygen
“In laymen’s terms, I’m trying to better understand how and why our immune systems
decline with age,” explains Gubbels Bupp. “So far, we have tentatively identified
a gene that seems to be involved in protecting cells of our immune system from aging.”
Gubbels Bupp also co-authored a paper, Transcription factor Foxo1 represses T-bet-mediated
effector functions and promotes memory CD8+ T Cell Differentiation, which
was published in Immunity, a leading immunology journal.
In addition, Gubbels Bupp was selected to give a talk at the American Association
of Immunologists (AAI) conference, which takes place in May in Boston, Massachusetts.
She will present her talk, titled The forkhead transcription factor, Foxo1, coordinates
an adaptive, pro-survival response to calorie restriction in T cells, with
co-author Whitney Edwards ’12.
“Whitney has worked with me in the lab extensively,” says Gubbels Bupp. “It began
with a one-credit-hour research course during her sophomore year, involved two summers
of research, and culminated with a year-long senior
project. Whitney has been instrumental in getting my research program up and running.
I usually refer to her as the ‘rock star’ of the lab. I will miss her terribly when
Edwards, a biology major with a minor in religious
studies, is making plans for life after graduation.
“I have applied to several places to be a research technician,” she says. “I look
forward to using the lab skills and techniques I learned from Professor Gubbels
Bupp, and then I want to go to graduate school to get a master’s in immunology.”
Edwards says that Gubbels Bupp has been a tremendous influence on her collegiate
career and her future plans.
“I do not know what career path I would have chosen without her guidance,” she says.
“I love doing research with her. She is a great asset to the college and is passionate
about her students and making sure they succeed.”
Gubbels Bupp was selected as a recipient of a 2012 AAI Undergraduate Faculty Travel
Grant. Although she attends the AAI meeting every year, this is the first time she’ll
be bringing a student.
“I am thrilled that Whitney will get to discuss her results with professional scientists,”
she says. “It will be a great opportunity for her and would have been a financial
burden for her if it weren’t for this grant. We are also grateful to the college
for contributing to Whitney’s travel costs as well as to the faculty development
travel grants that fund part of my travel costs. I always return from the AAI meeting
motivated, inspired and armed with new potential collaborations. In fact, the paper
that was just published in Immunity was the result of a collaboration I formed at
Gubbels Bupp earned her B.S. from Creighton University and her Ph.D. from the University