Assistant Research Professor at Indiana University School of Medicine-South Bend
I received my Ph.D from the University of Wisconsin—Madison, where I developed and characterized a new mouse model of breast cancer in which overexpression of the RNA binding protein CRD-BP produced mammary tumors which shared many developmental characteristics with human breast tumors. My subsequent postdoctoral studies involved investigations into neural development in a Drosophila model of Fragile X Syndrome (FXS). FXS is an autism spectrum disorder that is caused by the loss of function of a multi-functional mRNA binding protein. This protein is also overexpressed in human breast cancer though its contributions to this disease are unknown.
I remain thoroughly impressed with the proven relevance of invertebrate models to human disease as well as with the vast resources available to Drosophila research. I am interested in using the power of Drosophila genetics to understand the mechanisms of neurological circuit development particularly in the context of FXS but I am also eager to exploit this model for understanding the contributions of the Fragile X protein to cancer development and progression. As such, my research explores the mechanistic pathways underlying new potential therapies which may be applicable to both FXS and cancer.
2008 Postdoctoral representative, Program in Developmental Biology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville TN.
2006-2008 FRAXA Foundation postdoctoral research fellowship for Fragile X Research, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.
2006-2008. FRAXA Fragile X Research Foundation postdoctoral fellowship. “Testing the mGluR hypothesis of Fragile X Syndrome”.
2012-present. Biomedical Research Enhancement Grant. Indiana University School of Medicine. “Rescuing Calcium homeostasis defects in a model of Fragile X Syndrome”. $40,000.