Regulation of development and differentiation; regulation of programmed cell death and cell division; mechanisms of tumorigenesis
My research investigates the coordination between cell proliferation and differentiation using C. elegans germline stem cells (GSCs) as a paradigm. Research areas: Role of microRNAs in maintaining adult GSC homeostasis and buffering noise in the underlying gene regulatory network; Non-apoptotic roles of programmed cell death regulators during cellular growth, proliferation, and reprogramming.
I participate in and support several different research projects within the lab while managing the day to day running of the lab.
For my thesis, I am investigating C. elegans graviperception using genetic tools and behavioral analysis. C. elegans is a fascinating model organism in neuroscience research because it uses only 302 neurons to perform a number of complex tasks. I am interested in how these networks develop consistently across individuals and the mechanisms they use to convey information such as the direction of gravity.
I study questions of cell fate, with cell death being one of those possible fates. I am researching the role of PINK-1, a mitochondrial kinase, in apoptosis, as pink-1 mutants show a decrease in programmed cell death. I am also studying endoderm cell fate by examining the factors necessary to reprogram an already differentiated cell into a morphological gut cell and by examining possible connections between stress response and endoderm development.
I’m interested in understanding how environmental stress is translated into epigenetic information which can potentially be transmitted transgenerationally and regulate developmental plasticity. I’m also investigating variation in behavioral responses exists among C. elegans wild isolates.
My research focus is on gain-of-function screening in C. elegans. This screening is based on the Mos1 transposon and further combined with various inducible systems, including optogenetic, QF/QS, and the Gal4 system. The gain-of-function screening will be applied to studies in trans-organogenesis and longevity.
I primarily work with Ethan on a collaborative project with the Briggs Lab studying the interactions between a fungus known as Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis and C. Elegans, examining the effect of the fungus on nematode viability, fertility, and other phenomena.
I am a third year biology student currently assisting Ethan Ewe with his project regarding C. elegans mitochondria.
I study different mutant strains of C elegans and determine what mutations on different chromosomes could stop transorganogenesis in those worms.