Associate Professor of Biology
Ph. D., Northwestern University
Research interest: Understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate the expression of genes in living cells
We are interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate the expression of genes in living cells. Genes are regions of DNA that contain information for the synthesis of molecules - proteins in many cases - that are responsible for virtually all of the processes that occur within cells. Proper expression of the genetic material is therefore critical for the normal function of cells and perturbations that cause abnormal gene expression are associated with a number of human diseases including cancer. Work by many investigators over the course of the last few decades has led to the identification of a variety of factors that play key roles in ensuring proper regulation of gene expression. Research in my laboratory focuses on elucidating how several of these critical factors - proteins known as Spt16 and histones - physically and functionally interact with each other to promote proper expression of genes. For our studies we have chosen the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as the model system. Yeast is a great experimental organism for a number of reasons, including the fact that is highly amenable to a variety of genetic and biochemical experimental approaches. Given the high degree of evolutionaty conservation between yeast and human cells, our research addresses a biological problem of general importance. Please visit my website for more information on my research.