UNC Nutrition Research Institute assistant professor Isis Trujillo studies choline, an essential nutrient that is critical for brain development in the womb. A former postdoctoral researcher, she now runs her own lab and is exploring choline’s impact on gene expression to uncover how maternal nutrition influences fetal brain growth.
David and Karin Pfennig have created a home away from home in the Arizona desert. For about five weeks every summer, the couple studies spadefoot toads. Long days and nights are filled with collecting specimen, conducting experiments, and recording observations. Not only do they bring along graduate students, but also a pair of special assistants — their daughters.