Justin Jefferson: 2007-2009

Justin Jefferson

Justin Jefferson

Undergraduate Student

I am a third year human biology/ pre-medical student at the University of Texas at Austin. The Intellectual Entrepreneurship program and my passion for scientific research led me to Dr. Gore’s laboratory. I began working in Dr. Gore’s laboratory in fall 2007 as a volunteer and became an official member in the spring of 2008. I am a member of the Kinesiology Club, a volunteer at Dell’s Children’s Hospital, a member of the Intellectual Entrepreneurship program, and a U.T. Presidential Scholarship recipient. After graduation, I plan to attend medical school or graduate school.

The Gore lab is a great community of scientists.  I am currently working with a Neuroscience graduate student, Deena Walker on her research project, which is focused on the mechanisms for the control of the onset of puberty. We use quantitative real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to measure mRNA levels of GnRH and steroid hormone receptors. I contribute to this research by carrying out the PCR reactions for the puberty project Deena is working on. I have also learned how to do the ovariectomy surgery for Dr. Gore’s work on reproductive aging, and I will be doing real-time PCR measurements of gene expression in the brains of these animals.


  • Jefferson JR (2008). Jefferson: Creating a phalanx of citizen-scholars. Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, TX).
  • Jefferson JR (2008). Finding a niche at UT. Daily Texan (Austin, TX).
  • Jefferson JR (2008). Path to the future is no longer lonely. Austin American-Statesman (Austin, TX).
  • Jefferson JR (2008). A Head Start. The Scientist. Vol. 22: page 25
  • Jefferson JR (2008). Housing Projects to Research Projects. The Alcalde (Austin, TX).


  • University of Texas at Austin, Featured story, Exploring All the Options, 2008
  • University of Texas at Austin, Guest Speaker at Gone to Texas, 2008