I earned a B.S. in Biology from the University of Notre Dame, and subsequently completed a Ph.D. in Genetics from Harvard University in the laboratory of Norbert Perrimon, where my graduate work consisted of a molecular and phenotypic analysis of two genes involved in segmentation of the Drosophila embryo. After a postdoctoral interlude in the laboratory of Armen Manoukian at the Ontario Cancer Institute studying the role of heparin sulfate proteoglycans in embryonic development in Drosophila, I returned to the Perrimon lab. I am currently working on projects to determine the functions of miRNAs during development, and to generate new tools for lineage analysis.
Before attending graduate school, I studied plant evolution at UW-Madison and zebrafish developmental genetics at UCSF. For my PhD, I worked with Iswar Hariharan at the UC Berkeley, where I used genetics and cell biology to investigate the molecular mechanisms of tissue growth in Drosophila. In the Perrimon lab, I am studying intercellular communication using the TurboID labeling enzyme and characterizing peptides encoded by small open reading frame genes (smORFs). In addition, I am developing gene-editing methods to better characterize gene function in Drosophila, and I organize a genome engineering journal club at HMS.
I received my Ph.D. from the University of Rochester in the laboratory of Dr. Dirk Bohmann. My doctoral studies were focused towards uncovering novel mechanisms of regulation of Nrf2 signaling and studying their effect on oxidative stress response. In the Perrimon lab I am interested to study how different organs communicate with each other to maintain metabolic homeostasis.
I obtained my PhD in the lab of Judit Villén at the University of Washington, where I investigated metabolic regulation in mouse brown adipose by quantifying post-translational modifications at proteome scale using mass spectrometry. In the Perrimon lab, I plan to combine genetic manipulations with metabolomic profiling to understand how diverse metabolic phenotypes are achieved in the Drosophila fat body.
As an undergraduate, I studied developmental biology with Scott Gilbert at Swarthmore College. I then worked as a technician in Doug Emlen's lab at the University of Montana, studying the development of beetle horns, and in 2014 I received my PhD from Harvard University, working in Cassandra Extavour's lab on the embryonic specification of germ cells. In the Perrimon lab, I am studying long-range regulation of germline stem cell proliferation, and I am also interested in developing new tools for manipulating gene expression.
I received my PhD from the University of Minnesota in Dr. Michael O’Connor's lab. I worked on a variety of topics in the O’Connor lab including regulation of developmental timing, metabolic regulation by TGF-beta signaling and cell-type specific RNA tagging. In the Perrimon lab my focus is on the endocrine role of the muscle in regulating metabolism and physiology. In particular I am interested in studying activity induced myokines that signal to distant tissues like the FB and regulates homeostasis.
I received my Ph.D from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, 2013. During my graduate studies in Dr. Jonathan Terman lab, I explored the cellular and biochemical means through which one of the largest families of axon guidance cues, the Semaphorins, control cell movement. Working on a family of unusual proteins called MICALs, which associated with Semaphorin receptor Plexin, I found that Mical is a novel actin disassembly factor that uses its redox enzymatic activity to oxidize a specific methionine residue of the actin filaments; therefore, disrupts the actin polymerization. Currently, I am interested in using genetic approaches to study the molecular mechanisms of aging.
I received my Ph.D. from the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis in France in Dr. Stephane Noselli's lab, where I studied the diet-dependent control of oogenesis in Drosophila. I am now combining genetic screens and metabolomics with dietary supplementation approaches to understand how variations in diet rewires the metabolic networks to optimize nutrient utilization during development.
I received my Ph.D at KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Techonology) in Prof. Kwang-Wook Choi's lab. In his lab, I studied the regulation of Angiotensin-converting enzyme gene expression during Drosophila development, showing that expression of Angiotensin-converting enzyme is regulated by Mad and Pannier, which regulation is also conserved in human. In addition, I found the interaction between chaperonin function and insulin/TOR signaling in Drosophila.
I received my Ph.D in Biological and Biomedical Sciences from Harvard University. I did my thesis work in the lab of Nika Danial where I studied how the liver senses and responds to nutrients like glucose. In the Perrimon lab I am interested in exploring how the gut can sense the environment and regulate systemic metabolism in response to it.
I received my PhD from the University of Queensland, Australia in 2018. In Dr. Sean Millard’s lab, I studied the function and regulation of Drosophila Dscam2 alternative splicing. In the Perrimon Lab, I am interested in understanding the gene regulatory networks that define stem cell states.
As an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I studied the roles of AMP kinase on cellular metabolism in the lab of Dr. Jay Brenman. My interest in neuroscience led me to pursue graduate research under the mentorship of Dr. Hugo Bellen’s at Baylor College of Medicine, where I used genetics and cell biology to dissect the metabolic changes that contribute to neurodegeneration. I found that lipid droplets consistently accumulate in glial cells prior to the onset of neurodegeneration in several neurodegenerative disease models and revealed the signaling cascade involved in this deleterious metabolic shift.
I received my Ph.D. from Tsinghua University under the supervision by Dr. Cheng Li and Dr. Hongkui Deng, where I studied the heterogeneity, trajectory, and gene regulation network at single cell resolution in mouse chemical reprogramming. As a post-doc in the Perrimon Lab, I am interested in studying single cell genomics in Drosophila and developing new tools for FlyBase.
Before graduate school, I studied Biotechnologies and Medical Biotechnologies at the University of Sassari and University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Italy.
I did my PhD studies under the mentorship of Dr. Flaminia Catteruccia, initially at the University of Perugia, Italy, and later on at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, as part of a visitor exchange program. During this period, I investigated the role of male accessory gland-specific transcription factors regulating reproductive homeostasis and performed mass spectrometry studies to determine the composition of the male “ejaculome” in the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae. For a short period after my doctoral studies, I continued my postdoctoral training in the same laboratory following up some research lines generated from my previous work. After this experience I visited Dr. Tonya Colpitts’s lab at Boston University / NEIDL where I familiarized with arboviral infections in insect cell lines and adult Aedes mosquitoes.
In the Perrimon lab I am optimizing the existing Drosophila CRISPR-based wide-genome screening technology for direct application in mosquito cell lines; our principal aim is to use this genetic tool to unravel the complicated interactions between vectors and arboviruses, and decipher how the nature of these relationships shape these viruses epidemiology worldwide.