- Research Program Mentor
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Drosophila melanogaster, Genetics, Neuroscience, Meiosis, circadian clocks, Proteomic Networks, -Omic databases
Regulation of circadian clocks
Sleep is known to be governed by two distinct processes: a circadian clock that aligns sleep and wakefulness to the solar day and the sleep homeostat that encodes for sleep debt as a compensatory mechanism against sleep loss. Circadian regulation of sleep is a fundamental process that allows animals to anticipate sleepiness or wakefulness consistently every day. These mechanisms can be regulated in multiple ways: at the gene, protein, gene, and clock neuronal level. In this project, we will focus on 1) how to efficiently digest primary and review articles to compile and condense information, 2) investigate how circadian clocks are regulated at these different genetic levels, and 3) how to effectively summarize the information we've gathered.
Understanding single cell transcriptome databases
Single-cell RNA sequencing has become a powerful tool for researchers to understand the transcriptome (all of the mRNA transcripts present) in a single cell. Fruit flies are a widely used model organism to study multiple facets of biology. Recently, researchers have been able to compile single-cell data from all organ tissues present in a fruit fly (from the brain to reproductive organs) in a user-friendly interface online. In this project, we will select a widely studied gene (e.g., BRCA1 in cancer, APOE in Alzheimer's, CLOCK in circadian clocks) and search for cells that uniquely express mRNA transcripts for this gene. From using the dataset, we will determine if this gene is expressed in tissues that haven't been studied well (e.g., clock genes in reproductive organs or neuronal genes in the digestive system). From this information, we will try to determine how these genes might be important in these cell types.