Laura Jump


Laura Jump
Biochemistry, Chemistry and Biology dual credential
California State University, Fullerton
Fullerton, CA 92834



Laura Jump has just completed her Single Subject Credential in Chemistry at Cal State University, Fullerton, where she also completed her undergraduate studies, majoring in Biochemistry. She has worked under Dr. Madeline Rasche studying the biosynthesis of Methanofuran in Methylobacterium extorquens. Methanofuran is an important cofactor in methanogenesis, performed by organisms with one-carbon dependent metabolism. Laura's research involved genetically engineering ORF17 to be synthesized for determination of protein function. Research on methanofuran biosynthesis may be valuable in developing inhibitors or activators of methane production to prevent greenhouse gases or for use as an energy source.

Laura also worked under Dr. Barbara Gonzalez, assessing the benefits of an authentic research experience. Projected shortages in the STEM fields have increased research efforts in promoting scientific research opportunities, especially for underrepresented minorities. Research has suggested that an authentic research experience for high school, community college, and university undergraduates promotes a greater interest in STEM fields, an increased understanding of the nature of science, changes in epistemological beliefs, develops science content knowledge, and allows participants to learn new procedural and instrumentation skills. The goal of this study was to determine ways to assess the benefits of a Howard Hughes Medical Institute research experience for high school students and teachers, as well as community college students and teachers, in their summer research experience and weekend research experience using qualitative and quantitative methods to assess these cohorts.

Most recently, she investigated aggregation of Stathmin under Dr. Michael Bridges. Stathmin is a model example of an intrinsically disordered protein (IDP), which means that it is naturally unfolded in solution. IDPs have been implicated in diseases such as prions in Mad Cow disease, a-synuclein in Parkinson’s disease, and b-amyloid in Alzheimer’s disease. She investigated stathmin’s resistance to aggregation and developing a method to impel and quantify aggregation. Additionally, Laura determined reversibility of stathmin’s aggregation.

Outside of school, she has worked for Dr. Mike Lenhardt as an optometric assistant, having the opportunity to work and converse with people of all ages. Laura was a company trainer and lead employee (hosting/serving/bartending) for Carino's Italian restaurant for 8 years, recently resigning to pursue teaching. Her teaching opportunities and love of interacting with people led her to a desire to teach her greatest passion, science. She plans to teach chemistry and/or physics to high school students now that her student teaching is complete.