CRS Scientist Spotlight on Kessidy Chan
Kessidy Chan, MS, is a Research Technologist in the laboratory of Dr. Kelly Mayo. His research focuses on studying the ligands and receptors of the Notch signaling pathway and how they participate in ovarian development.
What brought you to join the CRS community and what is your current position?
I am currently the Research Technologist in the laboratory of Dr. Kelly Mayo. After graduating from Rush University with a M.S. degree in Anatomy and Cell Biology, I was looking for an opportunity to go out into the real world and do real science. I interviewed at a number of labs at several different research institutions, but after meeting with Kelly Mayo and the members of his lab, I knew that this was the place that would allow me to do meaningful research and facilitate my growth and development as a scientist.
Could you describe your research?
The Mayo Laboratory investigates hormone action and signal transduction in the mammalian reproductive system. We focus on the mouse ovary, and our studies examine cellular communication through the Notch signaling pathway and its integration with hormonal signaling. My research specifically focuses on studying the ligands and receptors of this Notch pathway. Currently, my work involves utilizing siRNAs, shRNAs, and lentiviruses to upregulate/downregulate these ligands and receptors and observe their effects on ovarian granulosa cell proliferation and differentiation and hormone production.
What aspect(s) of CRS do you find most valuable?
The people and the community. It was through the many interactions I had within CRS that gave me the opportunity to meet all the different people who are a part of our community and learn about all the exciting research in reproduction that is happening here at Northwestern University.
What has been the most valuable aspect to your training as a reproductive scientist?
My colleagues in the lab. Whether it has been a mentor, a mentee, or the big boss himself, I have had the opportunity to work with some of the most brilliant and amazing people I have ever met. Much of my growth, both as a scientist and as a person, can be attributed to these individuals.
What would you recommend to junior scientists in order for them succeed in their scientific careers?
Never hesitate to ask questions and do not be afraid to make mistakes.
What do you think will be the next big contribution in the reproductive biology field?
It is hard to say. With all the exciting research that is going on right now in the field of reproductive biology, from reproductive cloning, to alternative methods of birth control, and to personalized medicines for the treatment of infertility and reproductive cancers, who knows what the next big thing will be. What I can say for sure though is that whatever it is, it will have a major impact on the way in which we view and handle reproductive health.
What hobbies do you have outside of the lab?
Chess! I played chess competitively throughout high school (2011 Illinois State Champions) but took a break once college started. Last year, I picked it back up again and it sparked a rekindled passion for the game. Currently, I am training hard and practicing a ton with the hopes of one day achieving a Master title.