Members

Marlene Belfort

Marlene Belfort, Ph.D.
Dr. Marlene Belfort is a distinguished professor in the Departments of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Sciences, UAlbany, SUNY. 

She also holds an adjunct professorship in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Rensselaer (RPI). 

After graduating with a B.S. degree from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, Dr. Belfort received her Ph.D. degree in molecular biology at the University of California at Irvine, and performed post-doctoral work at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel and at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. 

Dr. Belfort held a research appointment at Wadsworth Center in Albany, where she also served as the director of the Genetics Division. Dr. Belfort is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Microbiology. 

She served on the board of directors of the RNA Society and on the Board of Advisors of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Evolutionary Biology Program, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center Research Center and the Bay Paul Center of the Marine Biological Laboratory.  Dr. Belfort’s research interests are in splicing, mobility and evolution of self-splicing introns and inteins, and their application to biotechnology and medicine.  

She has trained many tens of Ph.D. students and post-doctoral fellows. A goal of hers is to promote the careers of women in science, on which she has written, and for which she was recognized by the American Society for Microbiology with the Alice Evans Award for her contributions toward fostering the advancement of women. 

In addition to being continuously funded by the NIH for >30 years, including a 10-year MERIT award, she has served on many study sections. She chaired the NIH Microbial Genetics study section, as well as the prestigious Pioneer Award and Early Independence Award study sections. She also served on the NIH Council of Councils from 2014-2016.


  POST-DOCS
Olga Novikova

Olga Novikova, PhD
Graduate Institution: Institute of Cytology and Genetics SB RAS, Novosibirsk, Russia
Research Focus: Interplay between the LtrB Lactococcal group II intron and the gene it occupies. Evolutionary history of inteins in bacteria and archaea.
www.retrotransposons.org

Dan Woods Dan Woods, PhD
Graduate Institution: State University of New York, University at Albany, Albany, NY
Research Focus: Biochemical and structural studies probing conditional protein splicing of the M. smegmatis DnaB1 intein;

  GRADUATE STUDENTS
Xiolong Dong Xiaolong (Eren) Dong
Undergraduate Institution: Dalian Ocean University, Dalian, China
Research Focus: Silencing factors of bacterial group II intron in eukaryotes.
Justin Waldern
Undergraduate Institution:Youngstown State University, Youngstown, OH
Research Focus: Studying the relationship between the LtrB group II intron and its host, L. lactis.

  LAB MANAGERS
Carol Lyn Piazza Carol Lyn Piazza
Undergraduate Institution: George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Research Focus: Structural studies of the Lactococcus lactis LtrB Group II intron, and intron induced gene silencing in yeast.
Matt Stanger Matt Stanger
Undergraduate Institution: Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY 
Research Focus: Protein engineering, expression and purification. Figure rendering for publications.

  RESEARCH TECHNICIAN

Jake Bailey

Jake Bailey
Undergraduate Institution: Portland State University, Portland, OR 
Research Focus: Identifying host factors that affect the mobility of the Lactococcus lactis LtrB Group II intron.

  STUDENT LABORATORY ASSISTANT
Victoria Hayes

Victoria Hayes
Major: Human Biology