William Dodd

Mentor: Dr. Keith Choe
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
"Undergraduate research provides the first opportunity to answer questions for yourself, and take a break from the normal classroom setting. Specifically, I chose biological research because not a day goes by that I do not ask questions about how life works."





Research Interests

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Functional Genomics


  • GROW Botany


  • Sunday School Instructor

Hobbies and Interests

  • Carpentry
  • Cooking
  • Reading

Research Description

Regulation of Stress Resistance in C. elegans

Caenorhabditis elegans is a soil-living nematode commonly used as a model organism for biological research because many molecular and physiological pathways in C. elegans are conserved with other animals, including humans. C. elegans is also closely related to parasitic nematodes that infect humans, crops, and livestock. Stress responses are important to study because they can provide insight into the same pathways in higher eukaryotes and also allow more effective targeting of parasitic nematodes. In the lab of Dr. Keith Choe, I am aiming to further understand the regulation of a transcription factor called SKN-1 and its repressor, WDR-23. SKN-1 is a master regulator of antioxidant and drug detoxification genes and is present in increased levels during stress. Using a variety of techniques, the goal of my project is to exploit the genetic and molecular tractability of C. elegans to identify and characterize genes that function with SKN-1.