Spotlight On: Schuyler Melore


Schuyler Melore is a Duke University graduate student in the Reddy Lab, and currently works on wet lab technology development for the Center for Combinatorial Gene Regulation. He is originally from Northport, New York, and his favorite thing to do there is to swim in the Long Island Sound. Melore enjoys hiking, cooking/baking, and hanging out with his cats. 

What are some of your contributions to the Duke CEGS/CCGR project? 
We have been using dCas9 activators and repressors to interrogate regulatory element function at a number of loci. I hope to help build on this work by creating dCas12a activators and repressors that will allow us to easily screen regulatory elements in combination, thus learning more about how they interact with each other and how gene regulatory information is stored across multiple elements.

What excites you the most about this project?
Since I am working to help develop new technologies and methods, I am most excited to get them up and running so that others, both at Duke and elsewhere, can use them to uncover exciting new regulatory biology.

Where do you spend most of your time during work? 
As a wet lab researcher, I split my time between my desk, my bench, and the TC room.

What does your typical day look like? 
I really enjoy the variety in my job as I move through the different stages of planning/designing experiments, cloning, performing experiments, and analyzing the data. I also really enjoy the hands-on aspect of doing wet lab research as opposed to jobs where most of the time is spent doing work at a desk/ on a computer.

Did you expect to work/train at Duke? Why did you decide to join Duke?
I didn't necessarily expect to train at Duke, but I was very excited by the work that the CEGS group was doing. It also seemed like a supportive environment for people without a strong computational/coding background to develop those skills, which was important to me in selecting a PhD program.

What was your major in undergrad? Does it align to your career now?
Math, which doesn't really align with my career now as a (mostly) wet lab Genetics and Genomics PhD Student. 

In undergrad, what career path did you see for yourself?
I wasn't really sure- I enjoyed math, but didn't see myself doing math academia or doing data analytics/modeling in the business world or being an actuary or anything like that. I took some biology courses and did biological research one summer. I realized I really liked that and wanted to explore it more, so I became a research technician in a CRISPR/technology development-focused lab after graduation and loved it!

What advice would you give to someone who doesn't know exactly what they want to do in undergrad?
For someone towards the end of undergrad who is considering biology research/ a biology-related PhD but isn't sure or doesn't feel they have enough experience, I would recommend working as a technician first. I was in that position and I feel that working in a lab full time clarified that I really did want to move into this field. It also allowed me to gain invaluable experience and technical skills as well as authorship on papers. 

Did you ever study abroad in college? If so, where and what was that experience like?
I studied abroad in Paris and absolutely loved it! It really is such a beautiful city and the food was great. 

Name two interesting facts about yourself.
I play the tuba and I played rugby in college.


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