cells, the simplest eukaryotic model system,
respond to acute changes in their environment
by activating a transcriptional response that
ultimately involves the alteration of expression
of about 900 genes, or 1/6 of their entire genome.
This response is largely the same when cells
are confronted with a wide array of disparate
environmental challenges, even when the specific
responses required to survive particular stresses
are quite different.
My research is focused on understanding the
signaling network involved in stimulating and
coordinating this general Environmental Stress
Response. I am using forward and reverse genetic
techniques to identify and confirm key regulatory
genes, and working to integrate those genes
into a signaling network.
While some of the ESR can be interpreted physiologically,
other aspects must represent interconnectedness
and inherent dependencies within the genetic
network. I am especially interested in understanding
the overlapping layers of regulation that provide
the necessary robustness to a dynamic system.