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Charlene Wilke

Charlene D Wilke, BioCryo Electron Microscopy Specialist


What technical expertise do you offer? 

My expertise is in sample preparation for electron microscopy, TEM imaging and translating my knowledge to others through training.

What inspired you to work in this field?

A book titled And the Waters Turned to Blood by Rodney Barker. The book is about a deadly microorganism in the estuaries of the American east coast. I found Dr. JoAnn Burkholder’s accounts to be compelling, especially how her research of the fish kills in North Carolina pushed her to learn electron microscopy.

What are the everyday practical applications of your research/work? How does what you’re doing make a difference to non-scientists?

Just as Dr. JoAnn Burkholder's research led her to acquire the skills necessary to address her research questions, scientific advancements as a whole can have life altering consequences, such as better building materials, cancer treatments, and energy resources to name a few. But we can also see how, when we draw inspiration from nature, we are able to develop everyday applications like Velcro.

What excites you most about the future of nanotechnology?

How specific it may be able to get. It’s kind of crazy The possibility of using your own immune system/DNA/antibodies to create uniquely functionalized medication, developed specifically for your body, is truly amazing!