Mitosis lab coordinator

My lab studies how cells divide. We use mammalian tissue culture cells for our work. Current projects investigate how the spindle elongates in anaphase to accomplish chromosome segregation, how the mitotic spindle forms during early mitosis, and how molecular motors are regulated.

Climate Effects on the Culture and Ecology of Sugar Maple

Maple syrup is produced from the sap of sugar maple collected in the late winter and early spring, and tapping maple trees is a cultural touchstone for many in New England. The tapping season is dependent on weather conditions, and climate change may impact the sustainability of maple sugaring. Our research with ACERnet (Acer Climate and Socio-Ecological Research Network; blogs.umass.edu/acernet) is funded by the Northeast Climate Science Center (necsc.umass.edu) and addresses the impact of climate on the quality of maple sap used to make maple syrup.

Growth and development of plant roots

My laboratory is looking for an undergraduate research assistant. We study the mechanisms underlying plant growth, using roots as experimental material. We grow plants in the green house to collect seed, and we grow plants in the laboratory on agar medium in Petri dishes to characterize the roots. We are using a vareity of genetic and physiological approaches. The research assistant will help us on a basic level (making medium, harvesting seed) but also in a more specialized way, making various kinds of measurements on the roots through the microscope.

Circadian rhythms and estrous cycles

A master circadian pacemaker in the hypothalamus controls not only rhythms of sleep and wakefulness but also neuroendocrine functions including the estrous cycle in mice and hamsters. By studying mutants and conditional knockouts, we examine the roles of specific genes and their protein products in the brain circuitry that generates the preovulatory surge of luteininzing hormone (LH) from the anterior pituitary. Projects require handling of animals in order to track estrous cycles, ovariectomy, hormone assays, PCR genotyping, and immunostaining (with quantitative neuroanatomical analyses).

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