Cellular & Molecular Biology Graduate Program

Faculty Advisor: Chris Hittinger




My research is focused on development of a high-throughput bioassay to map the functional effects of sequence divergence in yeast and beyond. For a given protein, the mutation of a single nucleotide can have a wide rage of effects n the function of the protein. Understanding the functional consequences of the resulting sequence divergence can enable researchers to predict a given protein’s function in other organisms, study the functional equivalency of protein sequence variation ound across various evolutionary distances or between rare genetic variants via bioassays, or optimize a protein for production of a biological drug.

I will be using genome-editing technologies that allo many variants to be phenotyped in parallel in S. cerevisiae, and will investigate the functional equivalency of orthologs from all seven species in the Saccharomyces genus, as well as other yeast and multicellular eukaryotes. In addition, I will analyze the function of rare genetic variants in populations of yeast and human and determine whether gene function is predictive of disease. My initial studies will involve the ATX1 gene.

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