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Name: Tina Johnson

Major: Biology

Classification: Senior

Hometown: Fairfax, Virgina

Mentor: Dr. Josh Brokaw

Why I’m interested in research:I do research because I enjoy learning about things in great depth–truly exploring the ins and outs of something. Research also gives me perspective on life. It allows me to accept my mistakes and failures and keep moving forward. Basically, research is 25% ideas and 75% perseverance.

What I study: During my time at ACU, I have worked with Dr. Josh Brokaw studying the evolutionary and molecular biology of a plant species known as Mentzelia monoensis. Outside of ACU, I have had the privilege of studying apoptotic stress in the endoplasmic reticulum at Pepperdine University and the epigenetics of Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma at the Mayo Clinic.

Conferences Attended:

  • NCUR 2015
  • Alpha Chi National Convention 2014-2015
  • ACU Undergraduate Research Festival 2013-5
  • American Society of Cell Biology 2015
  • MBB Undergraduate Research Symposium (UTHSCSA) 2015
  • Meeting for the Society for Integrated and Comparative Biology, 2014
  • The Evolution Conference, 2013


  • ACU Undergraduate Researcher of the Year—Office of Undergraduate Research 2014
  • 2nd Place Poster Presentation— UT Health Science Center 2014
  • MBB Undergraduate Research Symposium
  • ACU Biology Researcher of the Year—Department of Biology, 2014
  • The Blake and Trish Janutolo Prize in Organismal and Ecological Biology—2014
  • Alpha Chi National Convention


“Edaphic Specialization in the cryptic species Mentzelia monoensis (loasaceae).” Madroño, April 2015