Fudge Lab Members
Dr. Fudge runs the Comparative Biomaterials Lab at Chapman University. As an undergraduate, he studied biology at Cornell University, followed by an M.A.T. in science education, also at Cornell. For his M.Sc. research, he worked on the biology of bluefin tuna at the University of Guelph, and then moved to the University of British Columbia for his Ph.D., where he worked on the biomechanics of hagfish slime in John Gosline’s lab. As an NSERC postdoctoral fellow, he worked on cell biomechanics in Wayne Vogl’s lab in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. He joined the faculty in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph in 2005, where he worked until 2016.
Dr. Charlene McCord
Once thought to be mostly sedentary animals, recent studies have shed light onto the elegant and elaborate nature of hagfish locomotion. While I’m broadly interested in many aspects of hagfish biology and biodiversity, my current research focuses on the functional morphology and biomechanics of the numerous locomotor behaviors associated with the Pacific hagfish’s ability to squeeze into and navigate through architecturally complex environments.
Dr. Gaurav Jain
Gaurav Jain is a postdoctoral fellow at the comparative biomaterials lab at Chapman University. His work is focussed on the exploring biophysical and biochemical properties of slime for biomedical applications.
My project focuses on understanding the mechanism of stabilization and swelling of mucin vesicles, a critical component of hagfish slime. The swelling may be dependent on the charge of mucin vesicles, so I am working to discover the charge and composition of mucin vesicles to better understand their swelling dynamics.
I am working on a project that aims to understand the mechanisms that stabilize the coiled slime threads that are produced within hagfish slime glands, and also the mechanisms that cause them to unravel when they are released from the gland.
I am studying the effects of trimethylamines on Pacific hagfish skein unraveling, as these are suspected of being involved in skein stabilization within the slime glands.
I am studying the mechanism by which hagfish slime exudate combines with seawater to form their defensive slime.
I am a junior biology major with a minor in health sciences. I am on the pre-med track with aspirations to go to medical school and work in the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. In the lab, I am working on the mucin vesicle swelling project. Mucin vesicles are one of the crucial components of the slime produced by hagfish as a defense mechanism. We are trying to understand the mechanism of mucin vesicle swelling and stabilization. I am also trying to find the best solution to use as a stabilization buffer for long-term storage that does not change the functionality of the vesicles.
The project that I am working on focuses on understanding the behavioral patterns and structural mechanisms that allow for specific burrowing techniques in Atlantic hagfish, a relatively unexplored area within the animal’s vast range of intricate locomotive abilities.