-2nd year Postdoctoral Research Fellow
-Ph.D. Integrative Biosciences, Molecular Medicine, Penn State University College of Medicine, 2004
Graduate Advisor: Dr. Gary A. Clawson, Jake Gittlen Cancer Research Institute Research Topic: Early changes in carcinogenesis
-B.S. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 1997
Honors Advisor: Dr. Maurille "Skip" J. Fournier Research Topic: snoRNA biogenesis
The relationship of transcriptional activity with the intra-nuclear positioning of genes has been well documented, particularly relative to the periphery of the nucleus. Localization at the nuclear periphery is traditionally a hallmark of gene silencing. However, our lab and others using the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model, have shown that active genes are also present at the nuclear periphery and that the nuclear pore complex is an important mediator of genome organization. In fact, certain genes are recruited to the NPC upon transcriptional induction.
My research interests involve the mechanism(s) of genome interaction with the nuclear pore complex and nuclear periphery, especially in regards to gene activation and the dynamics of the process. Chromosomes are not static structures, and their constrained diffusive movement most certainly plays a role in many nuclear processes. We have employed the lac operator/GFP-lac repressor system to visualize the real-time motion of the GAL locus in live-cells. In this way we can observe how transcriptional induction can affect GAL locus motion in a population of yeast. Furthermore, we can then perturb the system via mutants, etc. to begin looking at what factors play a role in the phenomenon of gene recruitment to the nuclear periphery.