I am an undergraduate student at the University of Iowa pursuing a degree Biochemistry and doing undergraduate research in Biology.
Currently I am investigating evolution of the transcription factor Pho4, in the phosphate response network of Candida glabrata. In the ancestral system, the homeodomain protein Pho2 is necessary for activation of transcription by Pho4. In the derived system, Pho2 is no longer necessary for transcriptional activation by Pho4. While changes to the cis-acting elements of target genes in a gene regulatory network have been studied extensively, and are generally well understood; the effects of changes to the trans-acting factors (transcription factors) are generally less understood. Our research group hopes to apply biochemical and biophysical assay technology available at the University of Iowa to unravel the mechanisms behind the evolution of Pho4. We hope to obtain a better understanding of the evolution of a transcription factor regulatory network, which may be applicable to various other organisms.
In my free time I enjoy snow skiing, mountain biking, music, and staying updated on professional/collegiate sports. I attended the University of Denver for 2 years of undergrad where I developed a love for the mountains and the great outdoors.