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’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.