Biology Seminar – Dr. Carissa James ’14

Dr. Carissa James ’14 of FirstString Research, Inc.

Alternative Translation as a Novel Cellular Regulator of Gap Junctional Coupling

Monday, January 27, 2020 – 12:00-12:50 pm – RITA 102

Gap junctions, comprised of connexin proteins,are essential for direct intercellular electrical, metabolic, and immunological coupling. Connexin43 (Cx43, gene name GJA1) is the most ubiquitously expressed gap junction protein, and Cx43 gap junctions are altered in pathological states including cardiac disease and cancer. The GJA1 mRNA undergoes alternative translation initiation to yield a truncated Cx43 isoform, GJA1-20k, that can regulate gap junction formation. Using epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) as a cellular model of gap junction remodeling, we have demonstrated altered translation initiation of Gja1 as a mechanism by which cellular Cx43 gap junctions can be dynamically regulated. Suppression of Gja1 alternative translation is necessary for Cx43 gap junction loss, and stable expression of GJA1-20k rescues gap junction formation during EMT. To identify regulatory factors acting on the Gja1 mRNA, an MS2 RNA aptamer tagging system was adapted to isolate Gja1 with associated RNA binding proteins. We find the RNA binding protein IMP1 is sensitive to hypoxic stress and complexes with Gja1 mRNA, where it is necessary for alternative translation to generate GJA1-20k. We have demonstrated alterations in translation initiation of the Gja1 mRNA as a critical mechanism by which cells modulate Cx43 gap junctional coupling in changing conditions and identified a novel regulator of this process in mammalian cells.

Posted on January 24, 2020 in Announcements & Events, Research

Statement of Purpose Writing Workshop

The Office of Nationally Competitive Awards will be holding a workshop for students in the midst of applying for national awards, graduate school or internships that require a statement of purpose.

Who: Students looking for guidance and feedback on their statement of purpose

What: Get a better understanding of what a statement of purpose means, what should be included, and effective writing tools to use in this part of the application

Where: Maybank 115

When: February 13th, 5-6:30 pm

Questions? Contact the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards,

Posted on January 22, 2020 in Uncategorized

Apply for a Job with DART

DART (Direct Action and Research Training Center) is currently accepting applications for their career opportunities in grassroots community organizing.

DART organizations unite congregations to work for social, economic and racial justice, including: plugging the school-to-prison pipeline, reining in predatory lending practices, expanding access to primary health and dental care, prioritizing funding for affordable housing and job training, fighting for immigrants’ rights, and police accountability.

Position starts August 10, 2020 and January 11, 2021. Starting salary $39,064/year + benefits.

DART organizations are largely made up of low- and moderate-income, minority and immigrant communities. They strongly encourage people from these backgrounds, as well as fluent Spanish speakers, to apply. All students and alumni welcome, especially those graduating before January 2021.

To apply or learn more about DART, attend the online info session on Wednesday, Jan 20th, 7pm EST or visit its website.

RSVP to the info session here.

Still have questions? Contact or 202-841-0353.

Posted on January 22, 2020 in Internships & Jobs

Booz Allen Hamilton Hackathon

Join Booz Allen’s Charleston Digital Hub for a focused all-day event of solution-building for climate change.

8am-9am: Registration & Breakfast
9am: Kickoff
9:15am: Hacking begins
12pm: Lunch
5pm: Hacking ends
5pm-onwards: Judging, Dinner, & Networking

Meals: Catered breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks will be provided throughout the day.
Problem Statement: Open Source Solutions for Climate Change.
Technical Requirements: You are free to leverage any technologies, frameworks, methodologies, etc., but all solutions produced must be able to be open sourced under the MIT License. To help kickstart your creative juices, we will be providing a number of rich datasets a few weeks before the event, and their usage is not required in your solution.
Networking: Opportunities to connect with local tech professionals, industry leaders, students, and senior Booz Allen leadership.
Judging Process: We will have three challenge tracks to compete in, based on level and technical experience, with one panel of judges per each challenge track.
Prizes & Swag: All participants will receive Hackathon memorabilia swag, and the top two teams within each challenge track will receive prizes.

RSVP here!

Posted on January 22, 2020 in Announcements & Events

Have a Discussion with the City’s Department of Housing and Community Development

The City of Charleston’s Department of Housing and Community Development will host a discussion regarding the goals and strategies for the city’s 5-Year Consolidated Plan and the Analysis of Impediment for Fair Housing Choice. These plans provide a vital roadmap for the allocation of future federal funding in our Lowcountry communities. The conversation will cover housing, education, economic development, and more. The city is specifically seeking insight from College of Charleston students on their community priorities.

When: Tuesday, January 28th @ 4:00pm

Where: Lightsey Center Suite 203

Interested students can reach out to Katya Caleca at for more information. This is a great opportunity for students to engage with local government and learn about the process of allocating federal funds!

Posted on January 22, 2020 in Announcements & Events, Community Engagement

Udall Applications Now Open!

The Udall Foundation awards scholarships to college sophomores and juniors for leadership, public service, and commitment to issues related to Native American nations or to the environment.

The Udall Scholarship provides access to the Udall Alumni Network: an association of change-makers, working in Indian country and environmental fields, sharing innovative ideas, professional advice, and job and internship opportunities; five days in Tucson, Arizona, at Scholar Orientation: extending your professional network, meeting other scholars and alumni, and learning new skills; and up to $7,000 for eligible academic expenses.

For more information about the Udall Scholarship and to view a sample application, visit their website.

Applications are due March 5, 2020.

Questions or application help? Contact the Office of Nationally Competitive awards,

Posted on January 22, 2020 in Scholarships, Grants & Awards

Join the School of Business’ Investment Program

The Investment Program is a group of elite students in the School of Business that works as a team to manage three real money funds: (1) a value based public asset fund, (2) an early stage private firm fund, and a (3) quantitatively-based public asset fund. We invest in publicly-traded equities and private angel-stage companies in the Charleston area that fit our investment criteria. The Program provide a distinct opportunity for students to distinguish themselves academically, professionally, and personally. Learn more about the Program here.

Applications, which include both a current resume and a written essay detailing why you feel you should be considered for the Program, must be submitted by Sunday, February 16, 2020 here. Upon submission, your application will undergo an initial screening by the Program Director, Dr. Pyles. If you move past this initial screening, you will be invited to participate in our super-day interviews which will take place all day on Saturday, February 29th. If you are interested in being considered for the 2020-2021 Investment Society, please mark this in your calendars now as it is mandatory to attend. Accommodations will be made only for students studying abroad or with extraordinary circumstances. Each applicant will be interviewed on discipline-specific information, such as macroeconomic issues, financial market activities, and asset management procedures and strategies. Interviews will be in front of members of the current Investment Society and members of the Program’s professional advisory board. A final decision will then be made by the Program Director, with the input of all parties involved, by March 3rd, 2020.

Please contact Maddy Goodman, Chief Operating Officer, at with any questions.

Posted on January 22, 2020 in Clubs and Organizations

Rotary Global Grants

Discover more about this funding opportunity from the Office of National Awards at a workshop specifically about Rotary.

Global grants support large international activities with sustainable, measurable outcomes in Rotary’s areas of focus by working together to respond to real community needs, clubs and districts strengthen their global partnerships. Global grants can fund humanitarian projects, scholarships for graduate-level academic studies, and vocational training teams, which are groups of professionals who travel abroad either to teach local professionals about their field or to learn more about it themselves. The minimum budget for a global grant project is $30,000. The Foundation’s World Fund provides a minimum of $15,000 and maximum of $400,000.

Who: Students interested in funding opportunities. Note: Students applying must be members of their local Rotary Club, which is an organization that encourages and fosters the ideal of service in personal, business, and community life. Students who wish to join can contact the local Charleston group here.

When: February 6, 2020 from 5-6:30pm

Where: Berry Residence Hall classroom, Room 104

The application is now live and available here. Questions or application help? Contact the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards,

Posted on January 22, 2020 in Scholarships, Grants & Awards

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