Department of Biology, Development and Stem Cell Biology Program
Duke University, Durham, NC
Previous Education and Honors:
A.B. in Chemistry-Biology, Minor in Latin
Ripon College, Ripon, WI
Ray was born and raised in Northern Wisconsin. He attended Ripon College where he received his A.B. in Chemistry-Biology. During his undergraduate career, Ray did research in the Sisson lab and Munro lab where he worked on zebrafish and elegans development respectively. He came in through Duke’s Developmental & Stem Cell Biology (DSCB) program and joined the McClay lab in 2016. Ray is a huge participant in science outreach to pre-scientists and the general public. He is the current President of Duke’s SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science – https://sites.duke.edu/dukesacnas/) Chapter, Interim Vice President for DukeOUT, and member of Duke’s oSTEM Chapter.
Innate cellular reprogramming is the process where the loss of specific cells or tissues causes neighboring cells to change their cell state and replace the missing parts. Other names for this process can include transdifferentiation, dedifferentiation, and transfating, and understanding a step-by-step mechanism for how this works in an in vivo system may help in understanding the “black box” of cell reprogramming in vitro. The sea urchin embryo offers multiple examples of cell reprogramming, and Ray is interested in uncovering a molecular mechanism behind this spectacular phenomenon.
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