Paul Magwene, Principal Investigator
My research is aimed at understanding how genetic networks work and how they have evolved. More specifically, my lab combines wet lab experimental techniques and the development of computational and statistical methods in order to characterize the properties of gene regulatory networks. A primary goal is to identify how genetic and environmental variation affects the functioning of regulatory networks, and how this variation relates to relates to intra- and interspecific patterns of phenotypic variation.
I am currently working on a collaborative project that investigates the invasive growth phenotype in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a trait thought to represent a foraging strategy and increasingly recognized to be relevant to medical isolates. We are comparing the alleles and loci contributing to variation in this trait in lab populations evolved for a short period, a long period, and in ancestors, in order to investigate the role of standing genetic variation and mutational input on evolution.
More broadly, I am interested in addressing basic evolutionary questions using the power of the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which allows for both investigations into naturally occurring populations of microbes and controlled and well-designed lab experiments. Thus far, most of my research has been related to questions about the evolution of sex, and about the mating interactions of natural populations, but I am also interested in life-history strategies and cooperation.
Currently, I work on identifying causal genetic polymorphisms in sporulation and pseudohyphal developmental pathways in S. cerevisiae in response to an environmental stimulus, lack of nitrogen, using DNA sequencing, expression analysis and gene disruption/ allelic replacement.
I am broadly interested in comparative/functional evolutionary genomics of interactions of regulatory pathways that are involved in sporulation/pseudohyphal developmental responses. I attempt to look at dynamics, functionalities and diversities of the components of the interactions in unusually large IME1 promoter region. IME1 is an important part of a genetic regulatory network that directs sporulation response in S.cerevisiae.
Edgard Medina (rotation student, UPGG)
Debra Murray (Lab manager / Research scientist)
Previous Members of the Lab
- David McCandlish (grad student) -- current postdoc, University of Pennsylvania.
- Joshua Granek (postdoc) -- currently Assistant Professor,Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Duke. Josh's Website.
- Jeni Reininga -- currently Research Development Associate, Duke University School of Medicine.
- Rick Dilling (rotation)
- Karthik Jayasurya (rotation)
- Xianrui Cheng (rotation)
- Ken Yokoyama (rotation)
- Justin Guinney (rotation)
- David Garfield (rotation)
- Shannon McDermott (rotation)
- Selcan Tuncay (summer undgrad from Sabanci Univ.,Turkey)
- Nick Patrick (summer undergrad)
- Howard Chen (undergrad) - now in med school (Harvard)
- Jay Ramesh (undergrad)
- Lisa Warner (undergrad)
- Michael McLaughlin (undergrad)
- Makesi Sutton (summer undergrad) - med school (Univ. Connecticut)
- Tim Goodman (undergrad)
- Keisha Carlson (undergrad) - now in graduate school (Univ. Washington)
- Ann Rouse (postdoc)
- Zee Pittman (lab tech)