Featured Researcher – Michelle Paulsen, Radiation Oncology

Michelle Paulsen
Research Laboratory Specialist Intermediate
Bru-Seq Lab – Mats Ljungman Lab (Center for RNA Biomedicine core facility)
Radiation Oncology,
Medical School


  • What is the role of RNA in your research?
    In the Ljungman Lab, RNA features predominantly as we developed the Bru-seq suite of techniques almost 20 years ago.  Bru-seq is a next generation sequencing technique that uses nascent RNA to assess RNA transcription, turnover, enhancers, splicing, as well as other RNA processes.  We work together with researchers all over the world on their Bru-seq projects as well as with major pharmaceutical companies.  We are also a part of the ENCODE project as a mapping center.
  • Who/what brought you to science? 
    I’ve always been interested in science, but struggled with figuring out what career path to take.  After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in biology, I applied for a job in a lab and somehow was hired, even with no experience.  I’ve learned a lot over the years and have been doing research now for over 25 years.
  • What brought you to the University of Michigan?
    I’ve lived in Michigan my entire life so I was very familiar with the great reputation of the University and was happy to accept a position here.
  • What advice would you give to students who’d like to get more involved in research? 
    Don’t be afraid of not having technical experience –  genuine curiosity and being willing to learn can take you far.  Also, mistakes happen and many times teach you more than your successes!
  • Are there any opportunities for students to engage in your projects, currently or in the future?  
    Possibly, especially on the data analysis side of Bru-seq

    • What skills would they need?
      Familiarity with basic statistics and a willingness to learn.
  • What profession other than your own would you enjoy, or what is your favorite hobby? 
    If I wasn’t in science, I would love to open a bakery!

Similar Posts