Public Relations Officer, Website Manager, Science on Tap Director (2021-2022)
Graduate Student, Department of Biological Sciences
My research focuses on different components of a gene regulation system called meiotic silencing by unpaired DNA (MSUD). This phenonmenon was first discovered in an orange bread mold called Neurospora crassa. Many components of the system, such as a dicer-like protein and helicase, have been observed in other species including humans, mice, plants, and fruitflies. In this system, a signal in the form of an aberrant RNA is produced when unpaired DNA is detected. The RNA molecule is processed right outside of the nucleus into short interfering RNAs (siRNA). The siRNAs are used to find complimentation in the messagner RNA (mRNA) of the unpaired gene. Once complimentation is found, the silencing system degrades the mRNA; therefore, preventing the gene from expressing. Unpaired DNA typically comes from viruses and seflish genetic parasites (transposons).
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In terms of my career goals, I’m looking to do research in industry. As a biologist, I want to use my training to help advance the field of biology and make a difference in the community. Alternatively, I would like to go into higher education. As a graduate teaching assistant, I developed my passion for teaching. I find helping students to grow academically and professionally to be rewarding.