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’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.
I am an NSF GRFP Fellow in Joel's lab. I am currently working on a project that investigates genetic mechanisms by which C. elegans facilitate purifying selection with their mitochondria, decreasing the level of mitochondrial genome deficiencies passed on to their progeny. I'm also interested in research questions concerning interstellar biology and how epigenetic landscapes are shaped by environmental stress.
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’m interested in studying the complex relationship between space and life; more specifically how spaceflight affects biological systems. I am currently working with Dr. Joshi on two main projects. The first project involves the systematic assaying of various compounds stimulating the different modalities – taste, smell, spectral response, pH, salt concentration – for either attraction or aversion in tardigrades. The second focuses on studying certain tardigrade-specific proteins (Dsup and similar orthologs) that are associated with increased resistance to DNA damage.
I am currently assisting Caroline Ackley on running gravitaxis assays and understanding the relationship between genetics and C. elegans’ ability to perceive gravity. As part of the gravitaxis project, I have also worked on data visualization in R. This past summer, I collaborated with Ethan Ewe and Caroline to research and present on how atmospheric pressure may play a role in C. elegans migration behavior for the Academic Research Consortium.