Gaius Augustus

Scientist, Artist, Advocate, Me

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A Little About Me

I strive for balance and to be well-rounded. I'm a creative and self-motivated individual.

But you want to know a little more than that...

Where I Am

I am a second year student in the Cancer Biology Graduate Interdisciplinary Program at the University of Arizona. I am part of the Instability in Cancer & Epigenetics (ICE) Research Group, in the Ellis Lab.

Where I Came From

I received my bachelor's degree from Kennesaw State University, where I majored in Integrative Studies with a focus in Chemistry & Biology. My research interests center around the effect of environmental stimuli on gene expression and how the change in expression relates to complex phenotypes.

My Current Projects

In my current research projects, I am doing genetic analyses of colorectal cancer susceptibility in African Americans. African Americans currently have the highest incidence and mortality rates of colorectal cancer in the United States, as well as are diagnosed earlier. Current genetic studies focus on patients of European descent. I am currently using data from several genetic platforms to investigate the differences in risk and etiology of this cancer in African Americans.

My Creative Side

After attending a fine arts middle & high school as well as my first university, in my spare time, I am often exploring artistic endevours. My major interests are in anime, some associated fashion, and comics. Pet projects include writing, drawing, or working on webcomics, although given the space and tools, I would love building and engineering functional art and fashion pieces.

Academic History

2014 – curr. Cancer Biology Graduate Interdisciplinary Program
University of Arizona
2010 – 2014 B.S. in Integrative Studies with a focus in Chemistry and Biology
Kennesaw State University. GPA: 3.84
2003 – 2006  Studied Film & Television, Sound Design
Savannah College of Art and Design.

Employment History

Jan 2014 – May 2014  Physics Learning Assistantship
Kennesaw State University, Dept of Biology & Physics
Supervisor: Taha Mzoughi, PhD
Jan 2012 – Oct 2013   Tutor of Chemistry, Biology, Physics, and Mathematics
Kennesaw State University, Student-Athlete Success Services
Supervisor: Tyler Pede
2011 – 2013                Freelance Web Design
2007 – 2009                Freelance Portrait Photography
Dec 2005 – Dec 2010 Head Photo Specialist & Certified Pharmacy Technician
Walgreens
Jan 2005 – Dec 2005  Sales Associate & Lab Technician
Wolf Camera
Nov 2004 – Jan 2005 Cookie Cake Decorator
Great American Cookie Company

Coursework

Math & Science Courses

Elementary Statistics Biological Principles Cell & Molecular Biology
Biostatistics Evolutionary Biology Human Anatomy & Physiology
Calculus II Genetics Physiological Psychology
Principles of Physics Medical Genetics Molecular Biosciences Seminar
General Chemistry Immunology Genomics & Systems Biology (audit)
Modern Organic Chemistry Bioinformatics Molecular & Cellular Neurobiology
Quantitative Analytical Chemistry Biochemistry Art of Scientific Discovery
Problems in the Biology of Complex Diseases Science, Society & Ethics Experimental Design
Genetic & Molecular Networks Cancer Biology  

Art Courses

Survey of Western Arts I Survey of Western Arts II Roman Art & Archaeology
History of Film Drawing I Drawing II
Life Drawing I 2-D Design 3-D Design
Color Theory Intro to Video Production Intro to Film Production
Adv. Survey of Computer Applications Preproduction Lighting & Field Production 
Techniques
Intro to Sound Design Intermediate Sound Design Location Sound
Postproduction Techniques Advanced Postproduction Directing the Narrative
Writing Fundamentals for
Screen & Stage
Screenwriting  

Other Courses

Year, Course Medium Institution
2015, Reporting with R Markdown DataCamp  
2015, Data Analysis in R, the data.table Way DataCamp  
2015, Intro to Statistics with R: Introduction DataCamp  
2015, Data Manipulation in R with dplyr DataCamp  
2015, Intermediate R DataCamp  
2015, Introduction to R DataCamp  
2015, Introduction to Metagenomics Data Analysis Summer Institute for Modelling of Infectious Disease University of Washington, Department of Biostatistics
2015, Population Genetics Data Analysis Summer Institute for Statistical Genetics University of Washington, Department of Biostatistics
2015, Gene Expression Profiling Summer Institute for Statistical Genetics University of Washington, Department of Biostatistics
2015, Introduction to R Programming Summer Institute for Statistical Genetics University of Washington, Department of Biostatistics
2015, Statistical Inference Coursera Johns Hopkins University
2015, R Programming Coursera Johns Hopkins University
2015, The Data Scientist’s Toolbox Coursera Johns Hopkins University
2015, HTML5 SoloLearn  
2014, Python Codecademy  
2014, PHP Codecademy  
2014, PHP SoloLearn  
2014, HTML & CSS Codecademy  
2014, Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects Coursera University of California, San Diego
2013, Epigenetic Control of Gene Expression Coursera The University of Melbourne

Research Experience

Mar 2015 – current: Ongoing Graduate Work
University of Arizona, Arizona Biological & Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Nathan Ellis, PhD, naellis@email.arizona.edu
Research Project: Genetics of colorectal cancer in African Americans
 
Jan 2015 – Mar 2015: Graduate Rotation
University of Arizona, Arizona Biological & Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Justina McEvoy, PhD, justinamcevoy@email.arizona.edu
Research Project: Validation of antibodies for epigenetic profiling of Rhabdomyosarcomas
 
Oct 2014 – Jan 2015: Graduate Rotation
University of Arizona, Arizona Biological & Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Nathan Ellis, PhD, naellis@email.arizona.edu
Research Project: Testing reproducibility and accuracy of FFPE-Blood DNA genotypes
 
Aug 2014 – Oct 2014: Graduate Rotation
University of Arizona, Arizona Biological & Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Tim Bolger, PhD, tbolger@email.arizona.edu
Research Project: Characterization of mutant Ded1 translation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
 
Spring 2013 – 2014: Undergraduate Researcher
Kennesaw State University Dept. of Biology and Physics
Faculty Mentor: Marcus Davis, PhD, mdavi144@kennesaw.edu
Research Projects: Analysis of Hox gene expression in paired fins of paddlefish (Polyodon spathula)
 
Spring 2012 – 2014: Undergraduate Researcher
Kennesaw State University Dept. of Biology and Physics
Faculty Mentor: Joel McNeal, PhD, jmcneal7@kennesaw.edu
Research Projects:  Primer design for population genetics of Beaked Dodder (Cuscuta rostrata)
 
Summer 2013: NSF Funded Research Assistant
Kennesaw State University, Dept. Of Biology and Physics
Faculty Mentor: Marcus Davis, PhD, mdavi144@kennesaw.edu
 

Publications

Yazici, C.,  Wolf, P.G., [et al, including Augustus, G. J.] Race-dependent association of sulfidogenic bacteria with colorectal cancer. Gut. doi:10.1136/gutjnl-2016-313321 (2017).

Tulenko F. J., Augustus G. J., Massey J. L., Sims S. E., Mazan S., Davis M. C. HoxD expression in the fin-fold compartment of basal gnathostomes and implications for paired appendage evolution. Sci. Rep. 6, 22720; doi: 10.1038/srep22720 (2016).

McNeal J.R., Bennett J.R., Wolfe A.D., Mathews S. Phylogeny and origins of holoparasitism in Orobanchaceae. Am. J. Bot. 100: 971–983 (2013). (acknowledgements)

 

Presentations & Lectures

Published Abstracts, Presentations, & Posters

2015

Homologous Recombination Drives African American Colorectal Carcinogenesis
AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved

2015

 

Primer design for population genetics of Beaked dodder (Cuscuta rostrata)
Regional meeting of Association for Southeastern Biologists
(2nd author, poster)

2015

Expression of 5’ HoxD Cluster Genes in the American Paddlefish Polyodon spathula
National meeting of Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology
(2nd author, poster)

2014

 

Characterization of 5’ HoxD gene expression in Polyodon
National meeting of Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology
(poster/published abstract)

2012, 2014

Primer design for population genetics of Beaked dodder (Cuscuta rostrata)
Dept. of Biology Meetings

2014

Three Years of N/A*
CETL Annual Symposium (poster, published abstract)

2014

Spirituality & Atheism
Diversity Forward Conference

2013

Creating a Customized Safe Space Workshop
National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce’s Creating Change Conference

Lectures

Apr 18, 2014

(A)spirituality

Nov 5, 2013

Acceptance & Identity

Oct 18, 2013

Beyond the Binary: Sex, Love, and Romance

Feb 22, 2013

Student Safe Space

Research Techniques

Research Skills
DNA isolations, RNA isolations, agarose gel electrophoresis, PCR, microsatellite identification, primer design, gene sequence preparation for submission to GenBank, preparation of GeneScan reactions, field work (collecting tissue samples), planting and caring for specimens, histological techniques for skeletal staining, cDNA synthesis, gel purification, ligation into vector, bacterial transformation, plating and cultures techniques, restriction endonuclease digestion, transcription reaction, in situ hybridization

Computer Skills
Languages: Basic – Python; Intermediate – R
Web application development: Proficient in HTML5 standards, CSS3, PHP, Adobe
Dreamweaver CS6
Database implementation: SQL

Research Interests

I am interested in the relationship between biology and environment and how learning about this relationship can translate into medical practices. Several questions that I am interested in pursuing include but are not limited to:

  • What correlations exist between epigenetic control regions and behaviors?
  • How are epigenetic landscapes changed in diseases?
  • What genetic & epigenetic differences can account for disease heterogeneity based on population structure (e.g. race, socioeconomic status, & medical history)?

Honors & Awards

More information on scholarships coming soon.

2015

Scholar-in-Training Award, AACR

2014

Department of Biology & Physics Student of the Year Award

2012 – 2014

Safe Space Endowed Scholarship

2012 – 2013

Student Life Organization of the Year (for N/A*)

2012 – 2013

Charles S. Wollmer Memorial Scholarship, August C. Krueger Memorial Endowed Scholarship

2011 – 2012

New Organization of the Year (for N/A*)

2011 – 2012

Gertrude Ely Richardson Stillwell Scholarship

2010 – 2012

National Science & Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grant

2003 – 2006, 2010 2011

Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally (HOPE)  Scholarship

Extracurriculars

Details about Extracurriculars is coming soon.

Leadership Experience & Memberships Community Service

Leadership Experiences & Organization Memberships

2015 – curr.

American Association for Cancer Research

2012 – curr.

Golden Key International Honour Society

2013 – 2014

Campus Climate & Culture Assessment Task Force

2013 – 2014

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology
Student-In-Training Member

2012 – 2014

Student Government Association
Senator for Registered Student Organizations

2012 – 2014

American Medical Student Association

2012 – 2014

Presidential Commission for Gender and Work/Life Balance

2012 – 2013

National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals

2012

Presidential Commission for GLBTIQ Initiatives

2011 – 2014

Non-Normative Anti-Assimilationist Students of KSU (N/A*)
Executive Committee Member

 

Community Service

2013 – 2014

Student Health Advisory Committee

Kennesaw State University

2013 – 2014

Campus Climate & Culture Assessment Task Force Member

Kennesaw State  University

2013

American Cancer Society Walk Volunteer

Student Government Association

2012 – 2014

Advocacy for underrepresented populations

Presidential Commission for Gender and Work/Life Balance

2012

Advocacy for underrepresented populations

Presidential Commission for GLBTIQ Initiatives

2011 – 2014

Advocacy for underrepresented populations

Non-Normative Anti-Assimilationist Students of KSU (N/A*)

Download a copy of my CV

GET IN TOUCH

Email:
Lab Website: Coming Soon