Michael S. Berriman is currently a senior at CSU Fullerton, majoring in Biochemistry. He has performed research under his mentor, Dr. Chris Meyer, for the last six years, since he was still in high school, studying recombinant forms of the enzyme ADP-Glucose Pyrophosphorylase (ADPG-PPase) from diverse bacterial sources. The enzyme ADPG-PPase catalyzes the rate-limiting step of starch and glycogen synthesis in plants and bacteria respectively. Different gene products from various bacterial sources are cloned and expressed by molecular and micro-biological techniques, and the resultant proteins are purified by biochemical methods including liquid chromatography. These proteins are characterized for catalytic and allosteric activity, substrate affinity, and stability under different conditions in vitro. Michael has contributed to the projects of characterizing native and mutant forms of ADPG-PPase from several bacterial sources including Rhodopseudomonas palustris (Rps. p) and Thermotoga maritima (T. ma), and is currently leading the project of expressing and characterizing the glgC gene product from the bacterium Thermodesulfovibrio yellowstonii (Td. y), a thermophilic bacterium originally isolated from thermal springs in Yellowstone National Park. Michael has presented his research on T. ma and Td. y at the CSUPERB and ASBMB conferences, and was the recipient of the CSUPERB Glenn Nagel Undergraduate Research Scholar award in 2010.
Michael has been involved with the Chemistry and Biochemistry club (CBC) for most of his time at Cal State Fullerton, and has been a cabinet member for the last two years. Currently serving as Public Relations officer, Michael looks to expand the member base of the CBC, a service-oriented student organization that has performed countless hours of volunteer service, youth outreach, and has exposed young minds to the sciences.
Other than his years of research at Cal State Fullerton, Michael also participated in a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program at Washington State University during the summer of 2009. There, he worked under Dr. Thomas Okita and Dr. Kelly Poliquin on isolating RNA-binding proteins from rice seed extract. Michael aspires to earn his PhD in Biochemistry and enter a tenure-track position at a California university. He will graduate from CSU Fullerton and apply to graduate programs in the fall of 2012.
Update: In Fall 2012 Michael will begin a PhD program in Biochemistry at UCSD.