This year’s winner of the WIC Culture of Writing Award in Physics is Jeremy Meinke, for his thesis entitled, “Single-Molecule Analysis of a Novel Kinesin Motor Protein.” Jeremy worked under the direction of Prof. Weihong Qiu. He was with the Qiu research group for two years and in 2016, he received URISC and SURE awards to support his work. Jeremy says of the OSU Physics Department, “I enjoyed the range of physics topics the upper division classes offered, which kept me constantly thinking about new concepts. Overall, it was a great place for me to study physics. I truly benefited from the research experience.”
Research in Prof. Qiu’s lab is mainly focused on understanding the mechanism and regulation of kinesins, motor proteins that transform chemical energy into mechanical work to move on train track-like structures called microtubules inside the cells. For his senior thesis, Jeremy used total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy to show that BimC – a particular kinesin from the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans– exhibits the ability to move continuously toward the minus end of the microtubule. This is a highly unusual observation because BimC-like kinesins are commonly thought to move in the opposite direction toward the plus end of the microtubule. Jeremy’s research further reveals that the directionality of BimC is also influenced by the ionic strength of the solution. Jeremy’s thesis is posted on the OSU archive, ScholarsArchive@OSU.
Jeremy hails from Roseburg, OR, and is a graduate of Roseburg High School (2013) and Oregon State University (B.S. Physics, minor in Mathematics, 2017) and will enter the graduate program in physics at Arizona State University in Fall 2017.
All seniors in Physics participate in a research experience that includes all aspects of the work of a professional scientist: gathering and analyzing data, understanding the context and implications, and communicating the work in written and oral form. Previous winners of the WIC Culture of Writing Award in Physics are listed on the award webpage.