Dr. Matthew Vandermeulen, PhD
About Me: I obtained my PhD at the University at Buffalo in biological sciences. Currently, I perform biological research as a postdoctoral researcher and have experience in teaching and science writing. Before pursuing my PhD, I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing and enjoyed working as a Registered Nurse for 5 years. Outside of my professional life, I am a husband and father, a nature and wildlife enthusiast, and a hiker/backpacker. In my free time I love to read about science & nature or a good novel.
Affiliations: AAAS member, WWF member, GSA member
You can learn more about my research and CV below, and more about the blog and myself here.
May 2013 – Trocaire College – Associate of Science in Nursing
May 2014 – Daemen College – Bachelor of Science in Nursing
December 2017 – University at Buffalo – Bachelor of Science in Biology
December 2019 – University at Buffalo – Master of Science in Biology
June 2022 – University at Buffalo – PhD in Biology
Vandermeulen MD, Cullen PJ (2022) Gene by Environment Interactions reveal new regulatory aspects of signaling network plasticity. PLoS Genet 18(1): e1009988. https://doi.org/ 10.1371/journal.pgen.1009988 – Recommended on Faculty Opinion
Vandermeulen, M.D. and Cullen, P. J. (2020) New Aspects of Invasive Growth Regulation Identified by Functional Profiling of MAPK Pathway Targets in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. GENETICS. https://doi.org/10.1534/genetics.120.303369. – Highlighted in Genetics September 2020 Issue and recommended on Faculty Opinion
Broad Research Interests: Genetics, Signaling, Cell biology, Comparative Biology, Gene-Environment Interactions, Phenotypic Plasticity, Ecology, Evolution, and Cancer Biology
2022-Present University at Buffalo – Advisor: Paul Cullen, Ph.D. – Currently studying how signaling pathways and networks generate phenotypes in different environments (Gene-Environment Interactions); and studying natural variation in mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway regulation and activity in wild yeasts; and studying the activation and function of MAPK pathways within an ecologically relevant framework.
2018-2022 University at Buffalo – Advisor: Paul Cullen, Ph.D. – for dissertation – The major focus of the dissertation was to understand how exposing signaling pathways to different environments can expand our knowledge of signaling pathway function in regulating a phenotype. This multi-environment approach uncovered new and unexpected regulatory mechanisms that occur in environment-specific contexts. These works suggest that studying pathway function in diverse environments is a simple and powerful approach to define the regulatory basis of complex phenotypes. Publications: Vandermeulen and Cullen, GENETICS, (2020) and Vandermeulen and Cullen, PLOS GENETICS, (2022).
2018 University at Buffalo – Advisor: Denise Ferkey, Ph.D. – during PhD program rotation – I performed experiments as part of a project testing the role of the C. elegans Innexin, INX-20, in the regulation of nociceptive behavioral sensitivity in avoidance behaviors.
2017 University at Buffalo – Advisor: Howard Lasker, Ph.D. – during undergraduate studies – I worked on a project aimed to understand if principal component analysis (PCA) of sclerite morphology (by Elliptical Fourier Analysis) in octocorals can be used as a tool to distinguish three species of octocoral: Eunicea laxispica, Eunicea mammosa, and Eunicea succinea.
Sept 2022 Poster presented at the Annual Postdoctoral Research Symposium in Buffalo, NY titled Gene by Environment Interactions Reveal New Aspects of Signaling Network Plasticity by Matthew D. Vandermeulen and Paul J. Cullen
August 2022 Poster presented at the Yeast Genetics Meeting 2022 in Los Angeles, CA titled Gene by Environment Interactions Reveal New Aspects of Signaling Network Plasticity by Matthew D. Vandermeulen and Paul J. Cullen
August 2022 Lightning Talk and Poster presented at GLAM-Evogen: Great Lakes Annual meeting of Evolutionary Genomics in Buffalo, NY titled Exploring MAPK Signaling Across Individuals Reveals Variation in Pathway Activity, Mucin Sensors, and Uncovers New Inducers of MAPK by Matthew D. Vandermeulen, Sakshi Khaiwal, Gianni Liti, and Paul J. Cullen
May 2022 Poster at the 32nd Annual Buffalo Conference on Microbial Pathogenesis in Buffalo, NY titled Gene by Environment Interactions Reveal New Aspects of Signaling Network Plasticity by Matthew D. Vandermeulen and Paul J. Cullen
March 2022 Dissertation Defense presented at the University at Buffalo in Buffalo, NY titled The Examination of Gene by Environment Interactions of Signaling Pathways in the Regulation of Filamentous Growth by Matthew D. Vandermeulen
March 2021 Talk presented at the University at Buffalo Biological Science Student Showcase Departmental seminar in Buffalo, NY titled Gene by Environment Interactions Reveal New Aspects of Signaling Network Plasticity by Matthew D. Vandermeulen and Paul J. Cullen
January 2021 Talk presented at the University at Buffalo Biological Science Research Symposium in Buffalo, NY titled New Aspects of Invasive Growth Regulation Identified by Functional Profiling of MAPK Pathway Targets in Saccharomyces cerevisiae by Matthew D. Vandermeulen and Paul J. Cullen
January 2020 Poster presented at the University at Buffalo Biological Science Research Symposium in Buffalo, NY titled Targets of the fMAPK pathway are used to fine tune the filamentous growth response by Matthew D. Vandermeulen and Paul J. Cullen
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) | Gel electrophoresis | Primer design | Quantitative reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR) analysis | SDS-PAGE electrophoresis | Western blot analysis | Phosphoblot analysis | ImageJ – phenotypic quantification (e.g. cell adhesion, invasive growth) | ß-Galactosidase (lacZ) Assay | Microscopy (DIC, Fluorescence) | CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing | protein and DNA BLAST | Yeast Genetics | Science Writing | Theories in evolution and ecology |
Teaching assistant at the University at Buffalo – supervised laboratory experiments, held office hours, wrote quizzes, lectured, and graded lab assignments for the following courses:
2018-2021 Biochemistry (BIO315 at the University at Buffalo) in Spring semesters. Curriculum for BIO315 included the application of the scientific method, multiple protein/DNA/RNA purification methods, SDS-PAGE electrophoresis and gel electrophoresis, PCR and RT-PCR, spectroscopy, and bioinformatics.
2018-2020 Evolutionary Biology (BIO200 at the University at Buffalo) in Fall semesters. Curriculum for BIO200 included the scientific method, phylogenetic tree analysis, principals of evolution, Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, plant anatomy, invertebrate anatomy, ecology, and competition experiments.
2013-Present New York State Licensed Registered Nurse
REGISTERED NURSE EXPERIENCE
2013-2018 Staff nurse and nursing supervisor at a subacute rehabilitation facility (Elderwood at Lancaster, Lancaster, NY) and a staff nurse on a medical/surgical floor (Mercy Hospital, Buffalo, NY) – Have managed and trained many other RNs and other staff members