Research Project: Gastrointestinal Physiology of Insects: Hissing Roaches as a Microbial Model Prerequisite: Comfort with large insects 1-2.5 inches Description: Madagascar roaches utilize carbonic anhydarse in a similar manner to mammals. Its localization in the GI tract provides inference into pH environments, affecting bacterial flora in roach GI tract as in humans. This bacterial flora may also contain pathogens like E. coli. Transformed E. coli are also being used to investigate potential E. coli colonization in roach GI tracts and mechanism of food contamination and disease.
Research Project: The use of Drosophila melanogaster to study cell growth and cell division Prerequisite: A good foundation of classical genetics Description: In my lab we utilize the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) to study the genetic regulation of cell growth and cell division, two molecular pathways often disrupted in human cancer.The developing eye of Drosophila melanogaster provides a model in which to study Yorkie signaling in cell survival, cell division, and cell differentiation and specification. Controlled genetic crosses can target the disruption of Yorkie at different times and locations within the developing eye and the resulting phenotypic changes can be studied. This will provide a mechanism to study how the translocation of a single protein can affect three vey different developmental processes in the same developing tissue. This knowledge can help to better understand the role of Yap1/2 (human Yorkie) activation in human genetic disorders.