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Person-to-Person: Michelle Stone

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Person-to-Person: Michelle Stone

Michelle Stone

2 June 2014

During the day, you can find Michelle Stone hard at work in Melissa Rolls’ lab while simultaneously working on her graduate degree in genetics. In the early mornings, evenings, and weekends, you’ll find Stone feeding calves, milking cows, and helping her husband work on their 100-cow dairy farm, all while chasing after their three-year-old daughter.

Stone, a research technician in Rolls’ lab since 2007, initially started in the lab with the intention of only staying six months to help set up the lab and then leaving to attend a medical technology school.  

“After working with Dr. Rolls for several months, I changed my mind and asked if I could stay working in her lab.  She agreed and I have been here ever since.  Her enthusiasm for science and research is inspiring,” Stone said.

For Stone, the most rewarding part of working in the lab on several projects from start to finish and seeing the end result in the form of several published papers.

“The first project I worked on in the lab was to map microtubule polarity in Drosophila neurons.  After that, I helped develop the neuronal injury assays we currently use in the lab to look at the cellular responses to axon and dendrite injury.  My latest project is to help develop a way to map microtubule polarity in the neurons of the model organism Nematostella vectensis or sea anemone,” Stone said.

Stone considers the lab as not only a place to learn and discover, but for her to teach as well. “We have a lot of people in the lab right now, including what we call our ‘army of undergrads’, but everyone teaches and helps one another in order to get things done.”

After she finishes her degree, Stone intends to remain in Rolls’ lab and continue her work on microtubule polarity in sea anenomes, as well as neuronal injury.

Outside of the lab and farm work, Stone enjoys spending time with her daughter, gardening, and reading.