Name: James Whalin
Hometown: Waterford, OH
Undergraduate University: Ohio State University
Please briefly describe your research.
My current research is focused on examining the mechanism of solvent access to both hemoglobin and myoglobin. When the heme iron in hemoglobin and myoglobin oxidizes from a +2 to a +3 charge, it is accompanied by a color shift from cherry red to brown in meat. This is undesirable to consumers, and there are a number of strategies to stop or delay the oxidation of the heme iron. However, there are a few unknowns regarding how the structure of hemoglobin and myoglobin is modified in order to allow the oxidation of the heme iron, which is where my research plays a role.
Why did you choose to attend UW-Madison for graduate study?
I chose to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison for two reasons. The first was due to a unique opportunity offered by my advisor (Dr. Richards) here at UW-Madison. The second reason was due to past experiences here at UW-Madison as an undergraduate that left an indelibly positive impression both of the campus and of the people therein.
What resources have proven invaluable to your academic success at UW (e.g. campus, departmental facilities or staff, the state’s dairy industry)?
Generally speaking, it is the people on campus, ranging from professors to the IT help desk who have proven most valuable to my success. In particular, the departmental staff who on numerous occasions have assisted me with a variety of matters stand foremost among the resources here at UW that influenced my success.
In your own words, how would you describe the academic environment at UW?
The academic environment for me as a graduate student is typically a welcoming one. Most labs or PIs that I have interacted with are generally approachable and appear to genuinely want to help.
What are your post-graduation plans?
There will a fair amount of time before my graduation, so no plans are set in stone. My current intention is to go into the food industry and ideally to work within the meat industry.
If you could give advice to students that are interested in attending UW-Madison in the Animal & Dairy Science Department what would it be?
In my experience, most everyone in the department of Animal and Dairy Science want you to succeed. This department will give you access to many tool and connections which are useful in accomplishing a variety of goals. However, at the end of the day, you are ultimately responsible for your own success.This article was posted in Blog.