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Catherine Douds

BMMB Graduate Student-Bevilacqua Lab
Image of Catherine Douds
The Bevilacqua Lab

About Me

I obtained my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from Juniata college in 2016. Before coming to Penn State, I worked for Bringham and Women’s hospital in a squamous cell carcinoma lab as a research technician. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my dog and crafting up a storm.


Research Interest

My research interests lie at the interface of computational and experimental biology. Specifically, I am working in Dr. Phil Bevilacqua’s lab development and expand methodology to improve in vivo transcriptome-wide RNA structure prediction.


Research Summary

Structure-seq2 is a methodology developed by the Bevilacqua and Assman labs to probe in vivo RNA structure. With this method, live cells are treated with a chemical reagent that specifically reacts with single-stranded nucleobases to add a covalent modification that can be detected upon reverse transcription. Deep sequencing of this cDNA will report with single-nucleotide resolution sites of modification to infer in vivo structure. However, structure predictions using these data still have limited accuracy. To improve this accuracy, I am expanding the chemical toolbox used to probe RNA in a single experiment as well as expanding the computational analysis to make better use of the information this chemical suite provides.


Programs and Training Centers


Honors and Awards

  • Eukaryotic Gene Regulation Training Grant
    Pennsylvania State University | August 2018 to August 2019
  • Pela Fay Braucher Scholarship
    Pennsylvania State University | 2017-2018
  • Distinguished Graduate Fellowship
    Pennsylvania State University | 2017-2018
  • Homer F Braddock Scholarship in Biology
    Pennsylvania State University | 2017
  • James Quinter Scholarship
    Juniata College | 2012-2016
  • The Rockwell Chemistry Prize
    Juniata College | 2016
  • The Dr. Homer C. and Ethel F. Will Endowed Scholarship Fund in Biology
    Juniata College | 2015
  • Gamma Sigma Epsilon: Chemistry honor society
    Juniata College | 2015
  • Beta Beta Beta: Biology honor society
    Juniata College | 2015