Natalie Biel is a current Ph.D. candidate at Baylor College of Medicine working remotely in the Sokac Lab, Cell and Developmental Biology Department, at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. She received her Bachelor of Science degree with honors in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia.
During her undergraduate degree, she gained experience in biochemical and molecular biology techniques in Dr. Gretchen Bentz’s lab at Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon, Georgia. While in the Bentz lab, she studied the Epstein-Barr virus, known to cause infectious mononucleosis, and its latency maintenance proteins to discover how these proteins influence native post-translational modifications inside human cells.
Her current thesis research in the Sokac Lab focuses on understanding how the actin cytoskeleton is precisely controlled during embryonic development using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a model organism. She uses confocal microscopy, biochemistry, and molecular biology techniques to study the actin cytoskeleton and its host of regulatory proteins.