MCP Graduate Student Madeline Sykes Awarded Rackham Graduate Student Research Grant

By Lynn McCain | November 27 2023

Madeline_Sykes_WEB.jpgCongratulations to Molecular and Cellular Pathology graduate student, Madeline Sykes, on being selected for a 2023 Rackham Graduate Student Research Grant. These grants are awarded to students based on the quality of their research proposals and are used toward funding experiments for their thesis work.

Sykes is a second-year PhD student being co-mentored by Dr. Asma Nusrat and Dr. Scott Leiser. Her research is focused on a family of enzymes called flavin-containing monooxygenases (FMOs). These enzymes play an important role in promoting health span and lifespan of the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. Sykes’ project mainly focuses on the role FMOs play in maintaining intestinal homeostasis and health in mammals. Intestine-specific removal of FMO5, one of the Fmo proteins, in mice causes intestinal damage that mirrors Inflammatory Bowel Disease. However, this damage occurs in a sex-specific manner- females experience significantly more injury to the intestines than males. Preliminary data from their lab suggests that Fmo5 interacts with sex hormones, so Sykes plans to use this Rackham grant to further investigate that mechanism.

“I really appreciate that Rackham provides this grant opportunity to its students because these funds are supporting my ability to follow this exciting new development in our lab’s research, as well as establish preliminary data that will be foundational to my thesis work moving forward.” Sykes added, “I feel very lucky to have landed in the Molecular and Cellular Pathology Program here at the University of Michigan because there are so many resources available to students that promote our ability to conduct exciting and innovative research.”