Evolutionary and Quantitative Genetics
Regulation of development and differentiation; regulation of programmed cell death and cell division; mechanisms of tumorigenesis
My research is centered on understanding transdifferentiation, transorganogenesis, and the intriguing fields of aging and longevity in the nematode C. elegans. Furthermore, my objective is to bridge the gap between human biology and model organisms by applying these insights to the context of human cells.
My research focuses on transcriptomic analysis of the processes we study in the lab. In particular, I am interested in changes in gene regulation during recovery from extreme stress in tardigrades, as well as the transcriptional changes in C. Elegans as they undergo transdifferentiation.
The small roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans has a relatively short wild type lifespan (about 18-20 days) and an easily manipulated genome which has made it an attractive subject for longevity screening over the past four decades. These longevity screens, however, are limited in scale. I am working with Dr. Rothman and Dr. Joshi to develop a new method for longevity screening that is conducive to scalability and compatibility with other model organisms. This new methodology has the potential to identify mutants with maximum lifespans magnitudes greater than their wild type counterparts.