Elucidating the mechanisms of Zelda that regulate cell fate during Drosophila development
The Harrison Lab uses fruit flies to understand how the many diverse cell types that comprise an adult organism are encoded by a shared DNA genome. Danielle Hamm’s research focused on an essential protein, Zelda, which is a master regulator of cell fate in the embryo and functions by marking specific regions of the genome for expression. Using a variety of strategies including Cas9-mediated genetic engineering, she identified protein domains required for Zelda function. Her work elucidated the mechanisms by which Zelda activates the initial stages of gene expression. In addition, Danielle identified a novel role for Zelda in regulating neural stem cell fate in the developing larval brain. Collectively, her work broadens our understanding of how transcription factors, like Zelda, regulate gene expression to influence cell fate during development.
To learn more about her work, attend her Thesis Review at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 24 in the Khorana Auditorium of the HFD Biochemistry Laboratories.