Molly Lausten ’18 Co-Authors Publication with John Golin ’73
Following her work in Golin’s D.C. lab last summer on yeast’s responses to nutrient deficiency, the senior biology major contributed to the alum's paper in Fems Yeast Research last month.
The utility of yeast cells exceeds their role in beer and bread making. Just ask Molly Lausten ’18 and John Golin ’73, two Fords of different eras who partnered last summer to explore the development of cellular multidrug resistance by looking to yeast as an example. Their new paper in Fems Yeast Research, published by Oxford University Press, examines Pdr5, a cell structure that pumps drugs out, and demonstrates that Pdr5 remains functional even with low levels of key nutrients.
Lausten’s research position was funded by the National Institute for Health (NIH), which has sponsored interns in Golin’s lab at the Catholic University of America in the past. Most of his NIH-supported interns, however, come from the D.C.-area university where Golin teaches; Lausten was the first from his alma mater. Even though their Haverford experiences were 45 years apart, the two bonded over their time with the College.
“I absolutely loved working with Professor Golin,” said Lausten, a biology major and psychology minor. “It was wonderful working with an alumni who cared so much still about the Haverford community. We spent a lot of down time between experiments talking about the upcoming sports team seasons and how his path from Haverford has shaped his career.”
Lausten connected with Golin by searching for alumni conducting research near her hometown of Ashburn, Va. Alongside a graduate student, she conducted most of the experiments needed for the paper, examining the effect of yeast growth in a variety of environmental conditions. In a small lab where every contribution counted, Lausten’s experience and work ethic made her a valuable member of the research team.
“In Molly's case, I had a good idea that she had the necessary background since I am familiar with Haverford's biology curriculum. I knew for example, that she would have had exposure to a good deal of molecular genetics and that many of the techniques that we use would be familiar to her because she took the sophomore and junior lab courses,” said Golin. “She got along well with everyone else in the lab and she worked very hard. She was never shabby, but the precision of her work improved rapidly to the point that she was generating publishable data and so this was very beneficial to us.”
When not focusing on yeast cells, the Lausten and Golin connected over Ford athletics. Lausten, a midfielder on the women’s lacrosse team, was the second-leading goal-scorer this year. Though Haverford’s lacrosse program was very young when Golin was a Haverford student (the men’s program began in the early ’70s, the women’s program in the early ’80s when the College went co-ed), the two found plenty to talk about when it came to sports.
A lot has changed over the course of 45 years. Golin noted that in his senior year, only two Haverford sports teams had winning records. Conversely, women’s lacrosse has had winning seasons in three out of four years Lausten has played. But they shared the experience of the seminal “Biology Superlab” course, where majors have 24-hour access to laboratories to independently manage experiments, though it was just called “Junior Lab” in Golin’s time.
Despite the differences, the continuity of Haverford Biology’s emphasis on independent research, critical thinking, and advanced lab technology proved fruitful for two of the department’s constituents. Now, they have a published research paper to show for it.