To help clarify the complicated relationship between genotype and phenotype in the skeleton, I study gene regulation in skeletal tissues and cells from human and nonhuman primates.
Who Am I?
I am a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Chicago in Dr. Yoav Gilad's Laboratory. I completed my PhD in Evolutionary Anthropology in Dr. Anne C. Stone’s Molecular Anthropology Laboratory.
I am broadly interested in primate genetics and epigenetics, complex trait evolution, and skeletal development and maintenance.
My dissertation focused on understanding how epigenetic changes contribute to skeletal differences within and among primates. Specifically, I identified and assessed intra- and inter-specific variation in primate skeletal tissue DNA methylation and tested whether specific features of skeletal form are related to specific variations in DNA methylation patterns.
Currently, my postdoctoral research aims to further evaluate these mechanisms but in specific skeletal cells types rather than in heterogeneous skeletal tissues. To do this, I have developed a comparative primate skeletal cell culture model.
I was born in Massachusetts but spent my early childhood moving from the East Coast to the Midwest. I finished growing up in Indiana and was ignorant of evolutionary ideas. I made my way back east for college at Boston University where I learned about the complex relationship between molecular- and macro-evolution. I traveled across the country to Arizona for graduate school to begin unlocking these epigenetic mysteries. Now, I find myself back in the Midwest exploring these topics further.