I was a post-baccalaureate intramural research training award fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Cecilia Lo at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the Laboratory of Developmental Biology at the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Here, I analyzed mouse embryos with cardiac and laterality defects derived from an ENU mutagenized mouse screen. I performed molecular characterization of primary cell cultures derived from mutant embryos and identified protein localization defects in sensory cilia. In a side project, I characterized heart defects from mouse embryos with a mutation in the DNA binding domain of the oncogene c-Myb and showed that defective blood cell development leads to abnormalities in the coronary vasculature and compact myocardium. 

I completed my Ph.D. with Dr. Amin Ghabrial at the University of Pennsylvania. My Ph.D. project investigated the connections between single-celled tubes forming within the Drosophila melanogaster larval trachea, an equivalent to the vertebrate respiratory system. My project involved classical genetics (positional cloning) and molecular genetics (sequencing) to identify mutations in three genes that affect the connection between two different epithelial tube types. Two of the mutations were in genes that each encoded vacuolar ATPase (V-ATPase) subunits and a third mutation was found in a gene that encoded a protein archease. Next, I undertook a molecular and genetic analysis of the V-ATPase mutants to reveal a previously unappreciated process of compensatory branching morphogenesis within the larval trachea. 

Following my PhD, I was a post-doctoral research associate with Dr. David James. The aim of my work was to identify novel diet-responsive genes. To do this, I performed a large-scale genome-wide association study of starvation resistance using 5 extreme diets on the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster.  I validated a list of candidate diet-responsive genes and focused on CG4607, the ortholog of GLUT6, and found that it was required for glucose incorporation into lipids and for viability in response to high dietary glucose. Additionally, I collaborated with several colleagues, mentored students, and aided in grant proposal preparation.

  • BC3101: Genes, Genomes and Development (Level 3; TSV)
  • Molecular mechanisms of heat response
  • Drosophila melanogaster genetics
  • Diet and sleep
  • Genetic Variation within populations
  • 2015 to 2019 - Post-Doctoral Research Associate, University of Sydney, Charles Perkins Centre (Sydney, NSW, Australia)
  • 2009 to 2015 - PhD Student, University of Pennsylvannia Perleman School of Medicine (Philadelphia, Pennsylvannia, USA)
  • 2003 to 2009 - Post- baccalaureate Intermural Research Fellowship, National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, Maryland, USA)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2020 to 2021 - Diabetes Australia Research Trust: Intertwining Genetics and Metabolism: The fruit fly as a model of metabolic disease.
  • 2018 to 2019 - Metabolism on the fly
  • 2017 to 2018 - Re-entry Fellowship: To validate the diet-responsive genes using RNA interference in the fly.

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  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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