Bolie Family Endowment for the Molecular Biology Graduate Program

In 2012, the Bolie Family established the Victor W. and Earleen Bolie Graduate Scholarship fund, which is dedicated to pre-doctoral training in the Molecular Biology Graduate Program. This generous endowment enables our program to fund training activities that enhance the scientific and professional development of our trainees. Each year we use the Bolie Graduate Scholarship funds to fund:

Bolie Travel Award. Each trainee in Molecular Biology Graduate Program receives one of these awards during their pre-doctoral training, which enables them to travel to national or international conferences and present their work.

Bolie Mini-Sabbatical. The Bolie Mini-Sabbatical enables pre-doctoral trainees to travel for 1-2 weeks to a laboratory outside University of Colorado to learn new techniques and experimental approaches that expand their training beyond the expertise of their thesis laboratory.

Bolie Scholar Award. Each year, three Bolie Scholar Awards are given to outstanding senior pre-doctoral trainees in recognition of their scientific and educational contributions.

Meet the Bolie Scholars for 2021-2022!

Rachel Jones

I am a graduate student in the lab of Dr. Jeffery Kieft studying the structure and evolution of a distinct class of exoribonuclease-resistant RNA (xrRNA) structures found in Flaviviruses. After using X-ray crystallography to solve one such structure in Tamana Bat Virus, I am moving towards developing a novel approach to use in vitro evolution to select for new, never-before-seen xrRNA structures. I love learning about RNA and plan to do more scientific outreach centered on RNA Biology this year.

Outside of lab, my interests include growing rare tropical plants, my cats, ice cream, horseback riding and taxidermy. Inside of lab, my coworkers make fun of me and my unique hobbies J.

I am honored to be chosen as one of this year’s Bolie Scholars and am continually grateful to be pursuing my dream within this amazing program!

Linnea Wethekam

I was born and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago before heading to college at Denison University where I earned my bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. I joined MolBIo in 2018 after spending my first year in the Biomedical Sciences Umbrella Program. At the same time, I joined Jeff Moore’s lab where we are interested in how cells regulate the microtubule cytoskeleton. My project focuses on understanding how cells regulate the expression of the α- and β-tubulin and the consequences of expression imbalance.

When not in lab I enjoy spending my time on the golf course, travelling, and hiking.

Claire Gillette

Colorado born and raised, I find it hard to leave this lovely state! I attended the University of Colorado at Boulder for my undergraduate degrees. I have dabbled in many model organisms and fields of science including: cardiovascular disease in the Burmese python (Leinwand Lab, CU Boulder), brain development in zebra fish (Yamasu Lab, Saitama University, Japan), and prostate cancer using mouse models (Cramer Lab, CU Anschutz). I began graduate school in the Biomedical Sciences Program at CU Anschutz in 2016 and terminally joined the Molecular Biology Program for my thesis work because of the wonderful environment and resources. I work in the lab of Tania Reis, focusing on the role of RNA-binding proteins in regulating energy homeostasis. Simply put- I study fat fruit flies in hopes that my molecular mechanistic research might one day be useful in developing strategies and therapies to treat obesity.

Outside of lab I spend a lot of time in downtown Denver watching and performing live theater. I run a Dungeons and Dragons game once a week with fellow researchers, getting out of our heads and into the high fantasy realm.



Former Bolie Scholars


Research Interest

Bolie Scholar Award Year

Current Position

James Till

Mechanisms of Nitric Oxide-induced gentamicin tolerance in Salmonella


Current Predoctoral Student

Cayla Jewett

Membrane trafficking pathways in cell polarization and lumen formation.


Current Predoctoral Student

Kristin Dahl

mTOR regulation of oligodendrocyte cytoskeleton rearrangement during myelination


Current Predoctoral Student

Emily Duncan

Rab GTPase-mediated ubiquitylation in cell migration and invasion.


Current Predoctoral Student

Laura White

RNA repair and translational regulation


Current Predoctoral Student

Katie Yergert

Molecular Mechanisms Underlying mRNA Localization to Myelin Sheaths


Postdoctoral Fellow at Emory University

Patrick Cherry

RNA processing regulates the Unfolded Protein Response


Scientist 1, Zymergen

Gabby Li

Intrinsic control of microtubule dynamics


Postdoctoral Fellow National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL)

Tessa Arends

The role of alternative splicing in B cells


Postdoctoral Fellow, Fred Hutchinson Center

Erik Linklater

Regulation of cancer cell migration and invasion by Rab40b.


Sr, Scientist, PPD

Cassi Estrem

Dynein regulation by its microtubule track and its influence on microtubule dynamics to properly position the mitotic spindle in budding yeast.


Postdoctoral Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Margaret Balas

Long noncoding RNAs in heterochromatin establishment and maintenance


Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Kelsey Hazegh

Determining the method and mechanism by which split ends and alan shepard contribute to fat regulation in Drosophila and whether it has a conserved role in mammalian cells.


Research Associate, Vitalant Research Institute

Hannah Scarborough

Targeting lung cancers


Medical Student, University of Colorado Anschutz School of Medicine

Louis Cicchini

Innate Host Immune Recognition during Human Papillomavirus Infection


Cell Separation and Immunology Specialist, STEMCELL Technologies

Ryan Sheridan

The Role of RNA Polymerase II Elongation Control in Transcription Dynamics


Postdoctoral Fellow, RBI Informatics Fellow, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Julie Woodman

The role of phosphorylation in regulating the Scc2 cohesin deposition factor


Assistant Professor, Colorado Christian University

Seth Welsh

The functions of Early B Cell Factor 1 (EBF1) in transcriptional repression and human leukemia


Postdoctoral Fellow, DePt. of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Arizona

Alexandra Antonioli

Determining the roles of factor H-Related proteins in Complement Regulation


Medical Student, University of Colorado Anschutz School of Medicine

Becky Fusby

The role of human SPT6 in transcription regulation by RNA polymerase II


Biosafety Scientist, NAMSA

Juliette Peterson

Gene-environment interactions influence on the risk for neural tube defect


AAAS Science & Technology Fellow, Osd Health Readiness Policy & Oversight, U.S. Department of Defense

Michael Holliday

Allosteric Communication Networks and Enzymatic Regulation as Mediated by Conformational Dynamics in the Cyclophilin Family of Peptidyl-Prolyl Isomerases


Postdoctoral Fellow, Genentech Inc.