Student Spotlight: Julius Judd

Julius Judd

July 16, 2021

Julius Judd is a doctoral candidate in biochemistry, molecular, and cell biology from Albany, New York. After attending University at Albany, SUNY as an undergraduate, he chose to pursue further study at Cornell for the collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to biological research as well as the location in Ithaca.

What is your area of research and why is it important?

Complex organisms consist of many diverse types of cells with dramatically different forms and functions. However, the genetic information contained within each of the cells of an organism is identical. Different cell types need different repertoires of proteins to fill their particular niche within the organism. How does the same genetic material give rise to an abundance of diverse cell types? We now think that part of the answer to this question lies in transcriptional regulation. My research leverages the power of genomics-based technology, which allows us to measure the expression state of all of a cell’s genes simultaneously, to look at the molecular mechanisms that regulate transcription in a variety of eukaryotic organisms, and how changes in this regulation drive evolution.

What are the larger implications of this research?

This work is important because expanding our ability to predict the functional consequences of someone’s DNA sequence is critical for precision medicine. As genome sequencing becomes more and more common in the clinical setting, the ability to understand what a patient’s DNA sequence means will allow us to design custom treatments for individual patients in a far more precise manner and bring medicine fully into the genomics age. 

What does it mean to you to have received the 2021 Harry and Samuel Mann Outstanding Graduate Student Award?

I was honored and excited to have been chosen for this award because I feel it will be transformative for both my research and my career!

What will this award allow you to do that you might not have been able to otherwise?

This award will afford me the freedom to pursue the questions that I am most interested in by giving me some financial independence as a young researcher.    

What are your hobbies or interests outside of your research or scholarship?

In my free time I enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities: downhill skiing, running, hiking, and fly fishing, to name a few. 

Why did you choose Cornell to pursue your degree?

I chose to come to Cornell because of the collaborative and interdisciplinary nature of biological research here, and because Ithaca is a great place to live!