Wednesday, December 24, 2014
In Charles Dickens’ 1843 classic, A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by four ghosts who help him to see the error of his ways and embrace a life of service. Scrooge is then able to correct the actions that could have led to his demise. Researchers studying epigenetics take on a similar task.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
I have been thinking a lot recently about how the tools we use in our work have improved so dramatically in the last few decades and how this is mostly down to the frequently disparaged study of microbes. While everyone can get behind studying bacteria that cause life-threatening diseases like typhoid fever and cholera, I think that it is often harder to convince people of the value of studying ordinary and sometimes obscure bacteria that do not directly affect human health. However, over the years, such studies have revolutionized many aspects of our lives.
Monday, December 1, 2014
Ever since studying transposons (mobile genetic elements) in graduate school, I’ve been fascinated by DNA and the many natural ways DNA moves and recombines within genomes. Transposons are responsible for multidrug resistance in bacteria, and the major players in V(D)J recombination in humans were derived from transposons. Now, as a postdoctoral fellow in the National Cancer Institute of the NIH, I conduct research focused on gene therapy strategies for hematologic malignancies and immunodeficiencies, because I am interested in the clinical application of basic biology.