Yeast cells, the simplest eukaryotic model system, respond to acute changes in their environment by activating a transcriptional response that ultimately involves the alteration of expression of about 900 genes, or 1/6 of their entire genome. This response is largely the same when cells are confronted with a wide array of disparate environmental challenges, even when the specific responses required to survive particular stresses are quite different.
My research is focused on understanding the signaling network involved in stimulating and coordinating this general Environmental Stress Response. I am using forward and reverse genetic techniques to identify and confirm key regulatory genes, and working to integrate those genes into a signaling network.
While some of the ESR can be interpreted physiologically, other aspects must represent interconnectedness and inherent dependencies within the genetic network. I am especially interested in understanding the overlapping layers of regulation that provide the necessary robustness to a dynamic system.
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