My family moved from Texas to Raleigh and I have been in North Carolina ever since. I attended St. David's School in Raleigh before coming to UNC-CH where I obtained a B.S. in Biology. Following my graduation, Nobuyo Maeda in the department of Pathology at UNC School of Medicine was kind enough to accommodate me for a one year stint as a research assistant. Those were fine days. I was even more thrilled when UNC offered me a spot in the next year's class of MSTP students. I recognized our woeful understanding of the human nervous system during my first year of medical school, and my interest was piqued. The fine days in lab have continue, but when work is wearing on me, I like to escape and indulge my hobby of fishing North Carolina's fine waters coursing down its mountaintops and easing through its teeming estuaries.
Our lab has recently uncovered a topoisomerase-mediated transcriptional phenotype that is essential to expression of the genes that define neurons. I am interested in how disruption of topoisomerase function by genetic or chemical means interferes with this phenotype. Using these tools, we can demonstrate how impaired topoisomerase-mediated transcription causes synaptic and anatomical abnormalities that mimic those abnormalities found in developmental disorders like autism spectrum disorder. Hopefully our research can help identify individuals at risk of developmental disorders due to their genes or environmental exposures. It would be even better if we could define unifying themes of autism spectrum disorder that physicians could exploit in treating ASD patients.
2014, Neuroscience Predoctoral Training