Dr. Jennifer Cash
Assistant Professor, Principal Investigator
B.S. in Zoology – Kent State University
Undergraduate research advisor: Dr. Gail Fraizer
Ph.D. in Structural Biology – University of Cincinnati
Graduate advisor: Dr. Thomas Thompson
Postdoc in Structural Biology – University of Michigan
Postdoc advisor: Dr. John Tesmer
Postdoc advisor: Dr. Michael Cianfrocco
Personal Bio: Dr. Cash has had a career-long interest in understanding signaling pathways from structural biology and mechanistic perspectives. Her interests in this began as an undergraduate in the lab of Dr. Fraizer studying VEGF signaling. She began her training in structural biology as a graduate student by joining the lab of Dr. Thompson, there learning X-ray crystallography and studying regulation in TGF-ß signaling pathways. She furthered her training as a postdoc in the lab of Dr. Tesmer, learning mechanisms in downstream GPCR signaling, including RhoGEF pathways. She also extended her pallet of structural biology methods in the lab of Dr. Cianfrocco, picking up the technique of cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). In starting up her own lab here at UC Davis, she plans to continue work on the P-Rex subfamily of RhoGEFs and to expand out to study other Dbl RhoGEF family members and how their signaling is regulated. Dr. Cash has a passion for structural biology and making it accessible to a wide audience and user base. She takes mentoring seriously and is looking for new members who want to join the lab in the near future.
B.S. in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology
Personal Bio: Alex is a recent graduate from UC Santa Cruz who is spending their gap year researching in Dr. Cash’s lab before applying to Ph.D. programs in Genetics and MCD Biology. Their research interests include underlying mechanisms that dictate the unifying qualities of auto-immune diseases, complex inheritance patterns, and identifying therapeutic targets for chronic illnesses. They hope to bring a disabled perspective to medical research, challenge ableist norms that are upheld in academic spaces, and help build resources for other disabled peoples in STEM. In the Cash lab, Alex will be helping to get our research program up and running and to put our building blocks in place for us to grow as a lab. Alex will be working on research projects focused on understanding P-Rex regulation from a mechanistic perspective.
Graduate Student, BMCDB
B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology – UC Davis
Personal Bio: Lauren Anderson is a BMCDB graduate student in the Cash Lab. Her research interests lie within the realm of cell motility and how the cytoskeleton plays a role in cell movement. During her undergraduate research, she studied microtubule inner proteins in T. thermophila cilia with the guidance of Dr. Mark Winey (UC Davis) where she looked at protein domain structure-function relationships from a molecular biology perspective. Currently, her work in the Cash lab primarily focuses on how RhoGEFs, like PRex proteins, are regulated to drive appropriate levels of cellular movement through activation of small GTPases. Using a structural and biochemical perspective, she aims to uncover the intricacies of how PRex2 is regulated by PTEN and other signaling molecules.
Undergraduate Student at U.C. Davis
Studying for B.S. in Genetics and Genomics
Personal Bio: Nikesh is an undergraduate student who recently joined the Cash lab. He has always been interested in the mechanisms underlying cell signaling and the implications of this on the treatment of cancer. Nikesh will be working with Lauren, assisting her to understand the regulation and mechanisms of the P-Rex2 protein. He enjoys learning more about structural biology, including the novel procedures and instruments used to determine the function of various domains on the protein. He wants to go to graduate school in the future and is really excited about getting an opportunity to volunteer in the Cash lab.
Undergraduate Student at UC Davis
Studying for B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Personal Bio: Jacob is a graduating biochemistry undergraduate who joined the Cash Lab in August 2021. He is interested in research regarding the identification of chemotherapeutic targets within cell signaling and metabolic pathways as well as the design of novel therapeutics through rational drug design. Jacob is currently practicing various biochemical lab techniques under the mentorship of Lauren and Alex. He is excited to work with the team as they continue to learn more about the domain structures and regulation of P-Rex1 and P-Rex2.
High School Student Volunteer/Intern
Personal Bio: Angela is an upcoming junior at Natomas Charter School interning/volunteering in the Cash lab for the 2021 summer. She is currently exploring different scientific pathways and the topics’ respective scientific research to further advance in her science knowledge. As of right now, she is currently interested in biochemistry/biology sciences. In the Cash lab, Angela is excited to experience the depths of scientific literature, such as the structure and function of P-Rex1 and P-Rex2, signalling pathways, etc, as well as the fundamentals of lab work.