Mammalian development consists of a series of carefully orchestrated changes in gene expression that occur as stem or progenitor cells differentiate to form the tissues and organs making up the growing fetus. These dynamic changes in gene expression arise from cell-specific alterations in the way in which the DNA encoding each gene becomes packaged within the nucleus. Much like a closed book cannot be read while an open book can, genes can either be tightly wound up and silent or in a relaxed, open, active state. As development proceeds, the DNA of each cell becomes packaged in a way that is unique to that cell type and thus “programmed” to express a specific cohort of genes, which confer its individual identity and physiological function. During fetal development, the processes of developmental programming are profoundly influenced by maternal nutrition and exposure to environmental toxins. My lab is interested in understanding how the maternal consumption of alcohol during pregnancy alters fetal developmental programming resulting in disease.
My undergraduate and graduate courses (VTPP 489/689 Fetal & Embryo Physiology VTPP 689 - Epigenetics & Development) explore the molecular mechanisms of developmental programing and the impact of nutrition & environmental toxins on the development of disease.
Postdoc Epigenetics, Childrens Health Research Institute - UWO 2009
Postdoc RNA Interference, Cold Spring Harbor Labs 2006
Ph.D. Veterinary Physiology, Texas A&M University 2003
BSc. Molecular Genetics, University of Western Ontario 2000
Teaching Undergraduate & Graduate Fetal Physiology. Conducting Research Examining
Mammalian Pregnancy & Development
Second-generation shRNA libraries covering the mouse and human genomes.
Silva JM, Li MZ, Chang K, Ge W, Golding MC, Rickles RJ, Siolas D, Hu G, Paddison PJ, Schlabach MR, Sheth N, Bradshaw J, Burchard J, Kulkarni A, Cavet G, Sachidanandam R, McCombie WR, Cleary MA, Elledge SJ, Hannon GJ.
Nat Genet. 2005 Nov; 37(11):1281-8.
PMID: 16200065 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]