Brittany Lasseigne, Ph.D., became the first graduate student to defend her dissertation at HudsonAlpha, thanks to a partnership beween the institute and the UAHuntsville Biotechnology Science and Engineering program.

Lasseigne presented her dissertation, “Analysis of DNA methylation and copy number variation in renal cell carcinoma,” to colleagues, advisors and other visitors Tuesday, October 1. Following her presentation, Lasseigne defended her Ph.D. to a committee that included Rick Myers, Ph.D., her principal advisor and HudsonAlpha president; Devin Absher, Ph.D., HudsonAlpha; Joseph Ng, Ph.D., UAHuntsville; Debra Moriarty, Ph.D., UAHuntsville; and James Brooks, M.D., Ph.D., Stanford University.

“Brittany has worked hard over the past five years and has been incredibly tenacious,” said Myers. “She did a great job on her research on kidney cancer, and all of us at HudsonAlpha are very proud of her and her work.”

Lasseigne earned her bachelor’s degree in biological engineering from Mississippi State University before pursuing her doctorate at UAHuntsville and HudsonAlpha.

Lasseigne celebrated with colleagues and family following the defense.

“I’m so happy to have defended my Ph.D.,” said Lasseigne. “It was nerve-racking, but I had so much support from my family and friends here at HudsonAlpha and UAHuntsville.”

According to Lasseigne, next steps for the project include finishing manuscripts for publication so the findings may be shared with the scientific community, as well as examining the markers in patient blood and urine as steps toward development of clinical tests.

Visit HudsonAlpha’s Facebook page to see a photo of Myers and Lasseigne, along with Lasseigne’s husband, parents and brother.

brittany lasseigne