Deborah R. Francoleon, PhD

Deborah Francoleon
Peer Mentor since 2010


Dr. Deborah R. Francoleon recently completed her Ph.D. at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California, Los Angeles.  She migrated from Cuba to the US in 1998 when she was a pharmacy school student at the University of Havana.  She graduated from Missouri State University in 2001 with a B.S. in chemistry.  A year later she went to graduate school to UCLA where she has been working under the mentorship of Professor Joseph A. Loo in a mass spectrometry laboratory.  Her thesis project involves the elucidation and characterization of the S-layer protein, the outermost cell envelope structure of many archaea and bacteria, and the surface proteins of the archaea Methanosarcina acetivorans, Methanosarcina mazei, and Archaeglobus fulgidus using a methodology that directly identifies surface-exposed proteins through in vivo biotinylation followed by affinity purification, gel separation and MS analysis.  After concluding her Ph.D., Mrs. Francoleon plans to pursue postdoctoral training at Boston University School of Medicine under Professor Catherine Costello’s mentorship.  Her project there will be a microbial glycomic project that employs and further develops MS techniques to answer relevant biological questions.  Her postdoctoral training will build on her Ph.D. research, but will focus on application of glycan mass spectrometry analytical methods that have not been part of her prior training.  As an undergraduate she received several awards including, among others, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Environmental Educational Scholarship and the Chemistry Department Outstanding Graduating Senior Award.  As a graduate student she received a Ruth L. Kirschtein National Research Service Award Individual Fellowship, the Biotechnology Institute Fellowship Minority Fellows Program Award, and several travel awards including the Society for Glycobiology Travel Award and the Annual Symposium of the Protein Society Minority travel Award-FASEB MARC Program.  



Mentor's Motivational Message

 (Video Date: August 2010)

Contact Information

Affiliation:  Postdoctoral Fellow

 Boston University School of Medicine
 Mass Spectrometry Resource
 670 Albany Street, Rm 511
 Boston, MA 02118-2526

Phone:  617.638.6780
Fax:  N/A
Email:  drf78@bu.edu
FASEB Society Member:  N/A
Scientific Discipline:  Glycomics, proteomics, mass spectrometry














Breaking the Ice - Deborah's "Q&A"

 Choose a word that best describes your life up to this moment.  Why?

 Resilient.  I just don't give up.  I keep at it until I reach where I want to be.

 If you could choose to be an animal, what animal would you choose to be? Why?

 I would choose to be a whale.  They are large and cute as they can be.  They get to eat all they want,  and they get to be fat and fit at the same time.  They swim all day, and I love to swim, too!

 Why are you here?

  I want to help students to do a better job than I did in graduate school.  I want to guide them and provide them with my experience and rough learning.  I want to give them what I did not have during my first years of graduate school.  I want to be resourceful and available for ANY type of questions and concerns regarding their graduate school experience and personal challenges.

 What is your favorite weird food combination?

 Condensed milk mixed with cocoa chocolate powder and Oreo cookies.

 Name a pet you have owned and how you came to name him/her.

 My dog "Shango".  He is a Rhodesian Ridgeback.  A breed that is originally from Africa.  Cuba has a very strong African culture.  The culture was brought by the slaves that the Spaniard conquerors introduced in the country shortly after the island was discovered.  "Shango" is the name of one of the gods that the African slaves adored.  It means the "God of Lightning and Thunder".  Shango was a very brave god.  The name mixes my Cuban culture with my dog's origins.

 What is your concept of a fruitful day?

 A day when I accomplish at least 80% of what I planned to do for that day.

 What one thing could you not live without?

 The Internet.

 What's your favorite line from any movie?

  "Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."  [Forrest Gump]

 What is the one thing you constantly think about?


 On what basis do you select your friends? Why?

  Honesty is the first trait I look for in my friends.  Good intentions and positivity are also very important traits that I like to find in my friends.