Welcome

I am a passionate cell biologist, adventurous microscopist, and enthusiastic science communicator.

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Current Research

I am investigating mechanisms of cytokinetic regulation the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. The final step of cell division is the physical separation of daughter cells by cytokinesis. This process is crucial for growth of all organisms. The cell cycle and cytokinesis must but must be properly regulated to enable growth and development as well as to prevent division errors. Cytokinetic failure leads to aberrant ploidy increases, which contribute to tumorigenesis. Decades of research have been spent elucidating the mechanisms governing this essential process; however, many aspects of its regulation remain poorly understood.

Previous work suggests the existence of a checkpoint regulating the initiation of actomyosin ring constriction during cytokinesis in S. pombe. I am using genetic, microscopy, and biochemical approaches to identify the components of this checkpoint and determine the molecular mechanisms of their regulation of cytokinesis.

Publication Highlight

Nuclei in syncytia found in fungi, muscles, and tumors can behave independently despite cytoplasmic translation and the homogenizing potential of diffusion. We use a dynactin mutant strain of the multinucleate fungus Ashbya gossypii with highly clustered nuclei to assess the relative contributions of nucleus and cytoplasm to nuclear autonomy. Remarkably, clustered nuclei maintain cell cycle and transcriptional autonomy; therefore some sources of nuclear independence function even with minimal cytosol insulating nuclei. In both nuclear clusters and among evenly spaced nuclei, a nucleus’ transcriptional activity dictates local cytoplasmic contents, as assessed by the localization of several cyclin mRNAs. Thus nuclear activity is a central determinant of the local cytoplasm in syncytia. Of note, we found that the number of nuclei per unit cytoplasm was identical in the mutant to that in wild-type cells, despite clustered nuclei. This work demonstrates that nuclei maintain autonomy at a submicrometer scale and simultaneously maintain a normal nucleocytoplasmic ratio across a syncytium up to the centimeter scale.
In MBoC, 2016

Microscopy

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Recent Publications

More Publications

(2019). How to get started in STEM outreach. ASCB Post.

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(2019). PREPRINT Regulation of FXR1 by alternative splicing is required for muscle development and controls liquid-like condensates in muscle cells. Posted on BioRχiv.

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Recent & Upcoming Presentations

More Talks

Astral microtubules regulate Rho activity and cytokinesis in fission yeast
Nov 21, 2019 2:00 PM
The fission yeast γ-tubulin regulatory complex Mto1/Mto2 plays a role in actomyosin ring constriction
May 18, 2019 1:00 PM

Funding

I have earned funding from the following sources:

Year Source Type
2018-Present NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship
2014-2015 Dartmouth Neukom Institute Graduate Fellowship
2013-2014 NSF GK-12 Graduate Fellowship
2013 US Department of Education GAANN Graduate Fellowship
2010 University of Vermont Undergraduate Research Fellowship

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