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.