Parasitic nematodes infect billions of people every year and are implicated in inhibiting physical and cognitive growth of infected children. A distinction in gene expression between humans and nematodes involves the mechanism of trans-splicing, where a trimethylated cap (TMG) is inserted onto mRNAs instead of the canonical monomethylated cap (MMG or m7G). Additionally, when the TMG cap is added to a transcript and important segment of RNA known as the Spliced Leader (SL) is also attached, and it has been demonstrated that this SL is required for efficient translation of TMG capped RNAs. The goal of my research is to understand the mechanisms used by SL for efficient translation of trans-spliced RNAs, through the use of biochemical and proteomic studies.
I received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Washington in 1999. I earned a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Oregon in 2006 where I studied the regulation of the translational repressor protein 4E-BP during hypoxia using Drosophila as a model organism. Additionally, as Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia from 2007-2010, my research goal was to understand the mechanism leading to translational inhibition during Dicistrovirus infection.
Garrey J, Lee Y, Au H, Bushell M, and Jan E. Host and viral translational mechanisms during Cricket paralysis virus infection. JVI. 2010;84(2):1124-38.
Liu G, Roy J, and Johnson EA. Identification and function of hypoxia-response genes in Drosophila melanogaster. Physiol Genomics. 2006;25(1):134-41.
Navas PA, Li Q, Peterson KR, Swank RA, Rohde A, Roy J, and Stamatoyannopoulos G. Activation of the beta-like globin genes in transgenic mice is dependent on the presence of the beta-locus control region. Hum Mol Genet. 2002;11(8):893-903.