Laura McMeekin, Ph.D.
Laura J. McMeekin, Ph.D., has been a postdoctoral fellow in the Cowell Lab since 2016. McMeekin attended the University of Mississippi where she obtained her Bachelor’s of Science in Biology in 2010. From there, she was accepted into the Pathobiology and Molecular Medicine Theme of the Graduate Biomedical Sciences program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and received her Ph.D. in 2016. McMeekin’s dissertation work centered on cell-specific gene regulation by the transcriptional coactivator peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator-1α using molecular and behavioral assessment of several whole-body and conditional knockout mouse lines under the mentorship of Dr. Rita Cowell. Her work as a first year postdoctoral researcher was dually mentored by Drs. Matthew Goldberg and Rita Cowell. In the Goldberg Lab, McMeekin investigated the effects of protein phosphatase and tensin homolog-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) deletion in rats on the functionality of motor neurons and the neuromuscular junctions in relation to hindlimb paraparesis and recovery in this Parkinson’s disease model. In parallel in the Cowell’s Lab, she investigated and continues to work on the cell-specific contributions of transcriptional and mitochondrial regulation by the estrogen-related family of receptors and its relation to neurological disease.