Mullinax is a 2017-2021 Self Graduate Fellow pursuing a Ph.D. in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology at the University of Kansas. She received a B.A. (2016) in both biology and Spanish from Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa. Her research is focused on the evolution of antimicrobial peptides that are part of the Drosophila immune response and how changes in amino acid sequences of these peptides can affect the fitness of the organism. Specifically, she studies how an amino acid polymorphism in an antimicrobial peptide, Diptericin, can affect a fly’s immune response to systemic infections as well as influence the gut microbiota composition. In addition to her research, Mullinax is president of the Molecular Biosciences Graduate Student Organization and is part of planning a symposium for graduate students to explore non-academic career choices available to them after graduation.
Mentor: Robert Unckless, Assistant Professor, Molecular Biosciences