Nicole Jerome

Graduate Student


Nicole graduated from Central Connecticut State University in December of 2016 with a BS in Biology. At CCSU under Dr. Jeremiah Jarrett, she studied phenotypic plasticity and geographic distribution overlap dynamics in the barnacle species Chthamalus fissus and C. dalli along the Pacific coast of North America. Also at CCSU under Dr. Sadie Marjani, she examined TRIM28 and ZFP57 expression in IVF, IVD, and AI bovine pre-implantation embryos. Before graduate school, Nicole gained a wealth of research assistant experience. At The Jackson Laboratory under Dr. Jennifer Trowbridge, she explored the progression from clonal hematopoiesis to myeloproliferative neoplasm in mice with Dnmt3aR878H and Npm1c mutations. At The University of Michigan under Dr. Malini Raghavan, she defined the calreticulin-specific effects on mediating ER clearance of a polymerogenic alpha1-antitrypsin Z mutation (ATZ) protein, and examined the low-affinity calcium-binding effects of BiP on substrate interaction. Also at The University of Michigan under Dr. Mark Chiang, she investigated the role of CDC73 and Zmiz1 in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) proliferation using transduced human cell lines and patient-derived xenografts (PDX) in NSG mice as models for the disease. In her free time Nicole enjoys exercise, watercolor painting, hanging out with friends, travelling with her husband, and going to church.

Research Interests

In 2023, over 16,500 people will die from bladder cancer in the US. Although non-invasive bladder tumors are common, muscle invasive bladder cancers frequently metastasize despite aggressive therapy and account for most disease related mortality. Thus, understanding the molecular drivers of invasive progression is critical for developing better therapies and improving clinical outcomes. Currently, under Dr. Palmbos, Nicole's thesis focusses on defining the role of and targeting focal adhesion complex members FAK and Src in muscle invasive bladder cancer to prevent progression to lethal disease. Nicole uses a variety of innovative tools to do this. She is testing novel compounds and already FDA approved drugs that may be repurposed to block muscle invasive progression. She also utilizes human bladder cancer spheriods and genetically engineered mouse models as clinically relevant model systems, with the goal of delivering new treatment options for muscle invasive bladder cancer.

Techniques Used

Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorting; RNA extraction, Reverse Transcription to cDNA, RT-qPCR; SDS-PAGE, Western Blot, Immunoprecipitation (IP) and co-IP, IP-Mass Spectrometry; Plasmid Preparation, Cloning, PCR, Agarose Gel Electrophoresis, DNA Extraction and Cleanup, Primer Design; CRISPR-Cas9 Gene Editing, Transfection, Transduction (including primary PDX lines), Virus Handling, General Cell Culture; Mouse Handling, Bone Marrow Harvest, Thoracotomy and Thymus Harvest, Spleen and Liver Collection and Fixation, Tail Vein Injection, Retro-orbital Bleed, Retro-orbital Injection, IP Injection, Oral Gavage, Husbandry and Weaning Practices, Tail Tip, Ear Notch, Sex identification, Cervical Dislocation, Irradiation, Sick Mouse Identification and Timely Decision to Harvest.


University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center Trainee Symposium, Three Minute Thesis Competition "FAK and Src in Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer" Ann Arbor, Michigan June 9th, 2023

The Jackson Laboratory: Workshop on Techniques in Modeling Human Cancer in Mice "Utilizing Novel Genetically Engineered Mouse Models to Assess the Role of TRIM29-Mediated Focal Adhesion Complex Stabilization in Invasive Progression of Bladder Cancer" Bar Harbor, Maine April 28th – May 5th, 2023


Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Award Recipient 2017
CCSU Dean’s Citation Recipient Class of 2017
CCSU Biology Departmental Award Class of 2017
CCSU Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award 2015-2016
Northeast Conference Female Scholar Athlete of the Year Class of 2017
CCSU Highest Academic Ranking Female Student-Athlete Class of 2017

Diversity Ambassador

  • First Generation College Student