I received my bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Missouri – Kansas City and later received my master’s degree in Biological Science from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale. My past research experience ranges from studying the circadian rhythm of fruit flies to genomic research involving telomere biology. I recently joined the Opportunities for Genomic Research post-baccalaureate program to increase my chances of matriculating into a top graduate program and to improve my basic science research skills.
I am currently in the Mitra’s lab, under the mentorship of Brian Muegge, investigating the multipotent adult intestinal epithelial stem cells (aIESCs) located in the crypts of the small intestines. The stem cells give rise to similar groups of specialized differentiated epithelial cells in every anatomical region of the gut, but these cells express unique gene programs in each region to control nutrient digestion, barrier function, and long-range endocrine signaling. It is not known how the adult intestinal stem cell regional identity is maintained. We hypothesize that the chromatin landscape of stem cells is different in each region, and these epigenomic modifications modify the binding targets of downstream transcription factors to create regionally specific phenotypes. To test this hypothesis, we plan comprehensively profile the chromatin landscapes of regional aIESCs using ATAC-seq and RNA-seq. We are utilizing mouse stem cells grown in 3-dimensional spheroid culture as our model system.