Luke Hatfield earned his B.S. in Environmental and Natural Resources from Clemson University in December of 2019. During his time as an undergraduate for the university he participated in research studies as an intern with the Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forestry Science. These projects largely focused on metadata management and water quality issues related to precursors of disinfectant by-product formation in water supplies around Georgetown, SC. During his final undergraduate year at Clemson University he joined the lab of Dr. Alex Chow, who was working on black carbon studies and investigating disinfectant by-product formation contamination in water supplies for the EPA. In December of 2020, he joined the CHG as a Research Technician for Dr. Lela Lackey, working in her lab on interrogating the mechanics of alternative splicing in RNA.
Luke works as a research technician in Dr. Lela Lackey’s lab, coordinating projects that come through the lab as they are directed. He also performs the experiments and oversees the lab space as the primary lab manager for the Lackey laboratory. Primarily, he seeks to help develop and refine new methods as a part of the Lackey laboratory’s efforts to better understand RNA structure, splicing, post-transcriptional regulation, variants, and introns. The alternative splicing of intronic elements in premature mRNA’s are thought to contribute to the occurrence of disease-associated variants, so understanding their structure and function is important when discussing how these variants arise.