Featured Alumni

Martin Friedlander, M.D., Ph.D.Martin Friedlander, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Friedlander received his undergraduate education at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine where he graduated with Highest Honors in Biology, class of '71 After receiving his M.D., he completed a residency and retina fellowship at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has been on the faculties of the Rockefeller University (where he worked with Professor Gunter Blobel, the 1999 Nobel Laureate in Physiology and Medicine) and the University of California, Los Angeles prior to joining the staff of the Scripps Research Institute and Scripps Memorial Hospital in 1993.

He is presently an Associate Professor in the Department of Cell Biology and the Graduate Program in Macromolecular and Cellular Structure and Chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute. He is a Staff Ophthalmologist and Chief of the Retina Service at Scripps Clinic and Green Hospital as well as a Staff Ophthalmologist at Scripps Memorial Hospital.

His research interests focus on understanding the role of integrins, matrix metalloproteinases and their antagonists during angiogenesis. He has also had a long-standing interest in targeting, translocation and integration of polytopic membrane proteins including rhodopsin and sodium-calcium exchangers. The two research programs are integrated by their application to the treatment of neovascular eye disease and inherited retinal degenerations.

Dr. Freidlander annually recruits undergraduates from Bowdoin College for summer internships at the Scripps Research Institute.

Jef Boeke, Ph.D.Jef D. Boeke, Ph.D.
Jef D. Boeke, Bowdoin Class of 1976, is a premier scientist whose research into anti-viral and anti-cancer technology has helped in the battle against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Boeke is a professor and geneticist in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He has discovered and patented an anti-viral technology that creates a hybrid gene capable of destroying the HIV virus when transferred into infected cells. He has published more than 130 articles in professional journals and scientific texts. He has been granted two patents and has four others pending for various methods of protein synthesis and transposition.

Boeke has been an active participant in professional organizations and affiliated groups for 15 years. He has served on the grant review panel of the American Cancer Society since 1977 and has been a member since 1992 of the scientific advisory board of Avigen Inc., based in Alameda, California. He is an editorial board member for Molecular and Cellular Biology and a past member of the Medical School Council. He also serves as an ad hoc member of the National Institutes of Health study sections and as a reviewer for the National Science Foundation. He is a member of the Genetics Society of America, the American Society for microbiology, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

At Bowdoin, Boeke graduated summa cum laude with highest departmental honors in biochemistry. He was a James Bowdoin Scholar and won the Donald and Harriet S. Macomber Prize in Biology, given annually to the most outstanding biology student, and the George Wood McArthur Prize, given to the scholarship student with the highest academic standing in the graduating class. He is a member of the Bowdoin chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. His wife, Suzanne Utzchneider Boeke, is a member of the Bowdoin Class of 1977. Upon graduation, Boeke was awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to study alpine Andean plants in several South American countries. He earned his doctorate in molecular biology from Rockefeller University in 1982 and was a Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellow from 1982 to 1985 at The Whitehead Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1986, he joined Johns Hopkins as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 1990 and full professor in 1995. From 1990 to 1995, he was a recipient of an American Cancer Society Faculty Research Award.

Kenneth LeginsKenneth Legins
Kenneth E. Legins Jr., Bowdoin Class of 1992, was given the 2006 Common Good Award. This award, bestowed by the Bowdoin Board of Trustees, honors alumni who have "demonstrated extraordinary, profound, and sustained commitment to the common good, in the interest and for the benefit of society, with disregard for personal gains."

He has dedicated his life and career to health education, children's advocacy, and women's rights. He has been a constant leader in HIV/AIDS education, a pursuit that has brought him to all corners of the world, from Maine to New York, to Denmark and Japan, and most recently, to China. Read More

Jamie WaltersJamie Walters, Ph.D. 
Jamie Walters, Bowdoin Class of '00, is starting his own lab at the University of Kansas, in Lawrence, KS. Walters will be in the department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, have close ties to programs and researchers in Molecular Biosciences, Computational Life Sciences, the Biodiversity Institute, and Monarch Watch. 

I am currently working in Hunter Fraser’s lab at Stanford University as an NSF-Bioinformatics post-doctoral fellow.  Previously I worked at the University of Cambridge where I spent the first two years of my fellowship based within the Butterfly Genetics Group run by Chris Jiggins in the Zoology Department.   In August 2009 I completed my Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University, advised by Rick Harrison.

I am broadly interested in evolutionary biology, genetics, and genomics.  My current research pursues these themes in Heliconius butterflies, with a particular emphasis on understanding the role that sexual selection plays in shaping patterns of genetic diversity. Recently I have initiated  two new projects, one concerning the molecular differences and evolutionary consequences of dimorphic sperm in Lepidoptera and the other concerning the population genetic consequences of genetic imprinting in mammals.Read More

Yui SuzukiYui Suzuki, Ph.D. 
Yui Suzuki, Bowdoin Class of '01, is currently an Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, Wellesley College

My research interests are in insect evo-devo and developmental physiology. I take a multidisciplinary approach to understand how the genes and environment interact to regulate the development of complex phenotypes. My current research focuses on postembryonic development, with a particular emphasis on understanding: 1) the regulation and evolution of phenotypic plasticity and 2) the evolutionary origin of insect metamorphosis. The lab is currently working on the regulation underlying phenotypic plasticity of body coloration and larval growth. The lab is also using the beetle, Tribolium castaneum, to understand how insect metamorphosis evolved and the role of cellular plasticity in evolution. Student research is an integral part of my research, and I encourage participation at scientific meetings and co-authorships in peer-reviewed journals. Read More

Iris Levin
Iris Levin, Ph.D.
Iris Levin, Bowdoin Class of 2005, is a broadly-trained evolutionary ecologist whose research incorporates questions and themes from disease and molecular ecology, evolutionary and conservation biology, and parasitology. I am interested in species interactions, particularly in understanding the factors that contribute to variation in host specificity that can lead to different patterns of population structure between hosts and parasites. In order to better understand how and when parasites move between different hosts, I studied a seabird – Hippoboscid fly ectoparasite (and vector) – Haemosporidian parasite system in the Galapagos Islands for the core work of my dissertation. Following the completion of my PhD, I remained at the University of Missouri - St. Louis to work with my advisor on a pressing conservation issue in the Galapagos Islands - avian Plasmodium. Despite careful monitoring, Plasmodium had not been detected in Galapagos until we recently identified the parasite in a small number of host species. We hypothesize that the parasite is a recent introduction, and my postdoctoral research focused on understanding the possible routes of introduction by sampling introduced species (cattle egrets, smooth-billed anis), alternative reservoirs (e.g., reptiles), and migratory birds (especially the bobolink)..Read more.

Kristen R. Maynard, Ph.D.
Kristen R. Maynard Ph.D.
Kristen Maynard, Ph.D., joined the Lieber Institute in the summer of 2012 as a postdoctoral fellow in the Brain Development division. Her research uses molecular and cellular biology in combination with behavioral techniques to investigate signaling events governing neuronal development and synaptic plasticity. In particular, she is studying how changes in the transcriptional regulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf), an activity-regulated gene important for neuroplasticity, impact dendrite morphology, synaptic function, and behavior. Dr. Maynard earned her bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from Bowdoin College in 2006 and her PhD in Neuroscience from Yale University in 2012. Her dissertation work in the Yale Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program focused on the molecular mechanisms underlying dendrite arborization and spine formation in the developing cerebral cortex. Dr. Maynard received specialized training in translational research through the Yale Medical Research Scholars Program, and she continues to pursue questions at the interface of basic biology and human disease at the Lieber Institute. Read more.