College of Graduate Health Sciences graduate Jason Workman had quite the resume as a student at UTHSC. He was the graduate student executive council president, the honor council president, and an award winner for his poster at Graduate Research Day. He authored five peer-reviewed publications, and was invited to give a talk at a regional chromatin (mass composed of DNA and proteins) meeting. He also had the opportunity to attend the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s forum on science and technology policy, which was a very interesting and prestigious opportunity.
“Participants discussed at length, the strong feelings the public has regarding scientific issues, such as vaccines, GMOs, etc., and how we as scientists can enter the policy arena to attempt to clarify any misconceptions,” said Dr. Workman.
Dr. Workman hails from Bridgman, Michigan, a small lakefront town of less than 3,500 people. Once he received his bachelor’s degree from Ferris State University in 2010, he worked for a year at Dow Chemical, then matriculated through UTHSC, where he studied cancer and developmental biology on the integrated biomedical sciences track. His research focused on understanding the link between an organism’s environment and health through TORC1-dependent redistribution of epigenetic modifications. These marks alter how DNA is packaged, and likely, impact the gene expression profile of the cell. The title of his dissertation was “Environmental Signaling through the Target of Rapamycin Complex 1 (TORC1) and the Regulation of Epigenetic Mechanisms”.
College of Graduate Health Sciences dean Donald Thomason weighed in on Dr. Workman, sharing, “Dr. Workman’s academic achievements, impressive as they are, do not overshadow his passion to engage in a meaningful way. He pulls people in behind him, and that is the mark of a leader.”
After successfully defending his dissertation, Dr. Workman returned to Michigan to live with his wife, Rachel. He currently works as a scientist for the pharmaceutical company Zoetis in Kalamazoo, Michigan.