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Rheese Thompson PhD standing by wall in the conference room dressed in a dress shirt and tie.
Rheese Thompson PhD

Rhese Thompson successfully defended his dissertation on April 20th, 2022, and received his PhD. His dissertation titled “Tuning the Conformational Dynamics of Diverse RNAs”, was completed under the direction of Dr. Qi Zhang.

Rhese received his B.A. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Linfield College in 2016. While at Linfield, Rhese carried out research in fruit fly genetics focused on miRNA mediated gene silencing and in cultured and primary cells studying inflammation in acute myeloid leukemia. Further, he served as a teaching assistant for the Biology department and a tutor for the Chemistry department.

In 2017, Rhese joined UNC via the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program with the intent to join the Biochemistry and Biophysics department and follow the biochemistry track. A chance meeting with a biophysics-focused first year, Matthew Cummins, in the first weeks of the program was all Rhese needed to switch to the biophysics track. After three stimulating rotations, Rhese joined Qi Zhang’s lab where his research focused on applying nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and in vitro biochemical assays to study the importance of conformational dynamics in regulating RNA functions.

Link to publications: RD Thompson

Rhese has immediately started work in Bill Marzluff’s lab here at UNC. His research in the Marzluff lab focuses on the lifecycle of histone mRNA.