Michelle Sconce Massaquoi is a doctoral student in the Institute of Molecular Biology under the mentorship of biology professor Karen Guillemin.
Massaquoi’s research focuses on understanding the interactions between gut bacteria and the host, specifically how gut bacteria influence the development of the pancreas. For this work, she uses zebrafish to study how a bacteria-secreted protein found in select gut bacteria induces expansion of insulin-producing beta cells.
Prior to her graduate work at the UO, she received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a minor in biology from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. Her research there focused on cholesterol metabolism and was supported through the Murdock Heart & Research Foundation in collaboration with Oregon Health & Science University.