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.
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 work on cellular reprogramming in C. elegans, and my research is focused on the question of how a single transcription factor, ELT-7, is capable of inducing cell fate change within the context of fully differentiated cells, and developing organs. I am utilizing a combination of bioinformatic and functional genetic approaches to uncover the molecular mechanisms behind this novel phenomenon.
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.