Graycen Wheeler

Graycen Wheeler

Research assistant, Department of Biochemistry

University of Colorado Boulder


I’m a biochemistry research assistant in the Liu lab at the University of Colorado Boulder, where I’m currently studying the cell signaling processes that control cell motility in epithelial cells. I’m getting ready to head to the University of California, Santa Cruz this fall to pursue a master’s degree in Science Communication.

I host and produce Buffs Talk Science, a podcast about science from CU Boulder and Beyond, and serve as editor in chief at the Science Buffs STEM blog. I’m good at crossword puzzles and tabletop RPGs but bad at roller skating and beekeeping.


  • Cancer biology
  • Podcasting
  • Science writing


  • PhD in Biochemistry, 2021

    University of Colorado Boulder

  • BS in Biochemistry, 2015

    University of Oklahoma

Research Experience


Graduate Research Assistant

University of Colorado Boulder

Jun 2016 – Present Boulder, CO
In the lab of Xuedong Liu, I’ve studied the cell signaling axes that control cell motility for wound healing, the expression of a protein involved in cancer drug resistance, the effects of a histone deacetylase inhibitor on super-enhancer activity, and the mechanism of a new drug that modulates fat differentiation. I am a trainee on the NIH-funded Signaling & Cellular Regulation training grant and have served as the primary mentor for two undergraduate reserachers as they worked towards their honors theses.

Undergraduate Research Assistant

University of Oklahoma

Dec 2013 – Jun 2015 Norman, OK
As an Honors Research Assistant Program-funded student in the lab of Dr. Ann West, I prepared purified mutant proteins to study the kinetics of the Sln1/Ypd1 hybrid two-component signaling system in yeast.

Science Communication Experience


Chair Moderator for eSymposia

Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology

Jul 2020 – Present Boulder, CO
I work with chairpeople and organizers of molecular and cellular biology meetings to guide them through the process of chairing a digital symposium and facilitate useful and engaging question and answer sessions for each talk.

Chair & Lead Organizer

ComSciCon Rocky Mountain West

Nov 2018 – Oct 2019 Boulder, CO
ComSciCon Rocky Mountain West is a regional science communication conference organized entirely by graduate students which prides itself on being entirely free for all attendendees. As the 2019 chair, I led the planning of a two-day conference and received a grant that enabled ComSciCon Rocky Mountain West to expand its service area to reach small colleges and states beyond Colorado.

Host & Producer

Buffs Talk Science

Apr 2018 – Present Boulder, CO
Buffs Talk Science is a podcast on which the inimitable Alison Gilchrist and I sit down with a couple of glasses of wine and tell each other our favorite recent science stories before luring a charming & knowledgeable local scientist to our home for dinner and an interview. New episodes every other Wednesday.

Writer & Managing Editor

Science Buffs

Aug 2017 – Present Boulder, CO
I have written and edited pieces for Science Buffs, a graduate student-run CU Boulder STEM blog, since 2017 and has served as a senior editor since 2019.

Teaching Experience


General Chemistry I Graduate Teaching Assistant

University of Colorado Boulder

Aug 2018 – Dec 2018 Boulder, CO

Advanced Biochemistry: Metabolism Teaching Assistant

University of Colorado Boulder

Jan 2016 – May 2016 Boulder, CO

General Chemistry I Graduate Teaching Assistant

University of Colorado Boulder

Aug 2015 – Dec 2015 Boulder, CO
I received the Award for Graduate Teaching Excellence for in 2015.

General Chemistry II Undergraduate Teaching Assistant

University of Oklahoma

Jan 2015 – May 2015 Norman, OK