Brittany Salazar

Brittany Salazar

Graduate Student


I attended Carleton College in Northfield, MN, graduating in 2016 with a BA in Biology and minor in German. I then worked for two years at Mayo Clinic in a lab studying neuroblastoma using a zebrafish model.

At UM I have been extensively involved in advocating for graduate students, serving terms as treasurer and president of the Biomedical Graduate Student Government and as secretary for the Rackham Student Government. I am currently a GEO Steward. I have also participated in science education and outreach through SEEK and MI DNA Day.

In addition to all that, I like to knit, boulder, go on brewery tours, float down the Huron river (weather permitting) and hang out with my cats, Luna and Jules.

Research Interests

My thesis research is focused on how cells overcome obstacles to build a proper mitotic spindle. Specifically, I am investigating how a non-motor microtubule associated protein, PRC1, assists the comparatively less mechanically robust mitotic kinesin Kif15 in building and maintaining a bipolar spindle in the absence of the primary mitotic kinesin, Eg5. A more complete understanding of the plasticity of mitotic spindle assembly can inform the development of less neurotoxic chemotherapies.

Looking towards a time after grad school, I am hoping to pull together my skills in cell biology, microscopy, and biochemistry and branch into virology. I am particularly interested in how the fairly ubiquitous Epstein-Barr Virus is connected to malignancies, notably Hodgkin Lymphoma.


Biochemistry, single molecule assays, immunofluorescence microscopy, live cell imaging, western blot, spinning disk confocal microscopy, mammalian and insect cell culture. 


Nominee, OGPS Excellence in Service award 2021