Educational & Professional Experience
University of California, Berkeley 2001-2007 Ph.D in Biophysics with a designated emphasis in Computational & Genomic Biology. Mentored by Michael B. Eisen and committee members Montgomery Slatkin & Ian Holmes. Areas of specialization: Bioinformatics, Evolutionary Genetics, & Developmental Biology
Selected Awards & Honors
We study the causes of cellular trait variation. Our primary system is mating pheromone induced cell differentiation in budding yeasts (i.e. baker’s yeast). We use a broad array of techniques from genome editing to fluorescence microscopy to computer modeling. Much of our work focuses on RNA and protein metabolism. Current student projects include:
- Molecular mechanisms of natural variation in protein production and degradation
- Genomic analysis of RNA interference pathway proteins
- Inhibition of CRISPR Cas-9 by nucleosomes
- Influences of genetic and environmental variables on the kinetics of cell differentiation
- Diversity and substrate specialization of yeast species in Whatcom county (outreach project w/ local middle schools)
Current Lab Members
Tanner Thuet-Davenport, Graduate Researcher (Projects: Genetic mapping of modifiers of FIG1 protein expression)
Gaea Turman, Undergraduate Researcher (Projects: Inhibition of CRISPR Cas-9 by nucleosomes; bulk segregant analysis)
Benjamin Haagen, Graduate Researcher (Projects: Genetic mapping of protein expression modifiers)
Sam Herr, Undergraduate Researcher (Projects: Modeling cell differentiation kinetics; microscopy image analysis; bulk segregant analysis)
Becca Yarbrough, Undergraduate Researcher (Projects: QTL candidate gene analysis; Genetic mapping of modifiers of protein expression)
Erik Ehlers, Undergraduate Researcher (Projects: Genetic mapping of modifiers of protein expression; microscopy image analysis)
Amy Williams, Undergraduate Researcher (Projects: QTL candidate gene analysis; microscopy image analysis)
Krista Miller, Undergraduate Researcher (Projects: QTL candidate gene analysis; microscopy image analysis)
Former Lab Members
Garrett Strawn (currently MA student in Thibault Mayor's lab at UBC)
Anastacia Wienecke (currently PhD student at UNC)
Chayse Jones (currently Research Assistant in Michael Matthay's lab at University of California San Francisco)
Tiara Johnson (currently applying for Research Assistant positions)
Brian Miller (currently Research Assistant in Don Conrad's lab at Oregon Health Sciences University)
Halley Steiner (currently Research Assistant in Roy Parker's lab at UC Boulder)
Yuli Buckley (currently PhD student in Jason Mears' lab at Case Western Reserve University)
Shelby Duffy (currently MA student at Western Governors University)
Ciara Asamoto (currently PhD student in Sebastian Kopf's lab at UC Boulder)
Emma Ciechanowski (currently Research Assistant at Seattle Genetics)
Austin Abendroth (currently Field Instructor for Second Natural Wilderness Family Therapy)
Homa Rahnamoun (currently Postdoc in Scott Armstrong's lab at Dana Farber)
Daniel Cohen (currently Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company)
Genny Gould (currently Computational Biologist at Counsyl)
I am currently recruiting undergraduate and masters graduate students to our team.
- WWU undergraduates seeking research experience who have at least one year until graduation are encouraged to apply via email with a brief description of interests and a transcript copy.
- Masters program applications are officially due February 1st however you are very strongly encouraged to email me prior to applying so that your application is given proper consideration. Follow these links for information about the Masters in Biology and the Application.
Kuo S, Egertson J, Merrihew G, MacCoss M, Pollard DA, Rifkin SA (2019). A simple mass-action model predicts protein timecourses from mRNA trajectories during a dynamic response in two strains of S. cerevisiae. bioRxiv, 805846.
Pollard DA (2019). Tutorial to Illustrate the Concepts in the Perspective Article: Empowering Statistical Methods for Cellular and Molecular Biologists. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 30(12), 1359–1368.
Turman G, Pollard DA (2019). NucJuke: A tool for re-ranking gRNAs based on chromatin accessibility for CRISPR-Cas9 Experiments in yeast. http://nucjuke.biol.wwu.edu
Pollard DA, Asamoto C, Rahnamoun H, Abendroth A, Lee SR, Rifkin SA (2016). Natural Genetic Variation Modifies Gene Expression Dynamics at the Protein Level During Pheromone Response in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. BioRxiv.org.
Li XY, MacArthur S, Bourgon R, Nix D, Pollard DA, Iyer VN, Hechmer A, Simirenko L, Stapleton M, Luengo Hendriks CL, Chu HC, Ogawa N, Inwood W, Sementchenko V, Beaton A, Weiszmann R, Celniker SE, Knowles DW, Gingeras T, Speed TP, Eisen MB, Biggin MD (2008). Transcription factors bind thousands of active and inactive regions in the Drosophila blastoderm. PLoS Biol. 2008 Feb;6(2):e27.
Clark AG, Eisen MB, Smith DR, Bergman CM, Oliver B, Markow TA, Kaufman TC, Kellis M, Gelbart W, Iyer VN, Pollard DA, Sackton TB, Larracuente AM, Singh ND, Drosophila 12 Genomes Consortium (2007). Evolution of genes and genomes on the Drosophila phylogeny. Nature, 2007. 450(7167):203-18.
Pollard DA, Moses AM, Iyer VN, Eisen MB (2006). Detecting the Limits of Regulatory Element Conservation and Divergence Estimation Using Pairwise and Multiple Alignments. BMC Bioinformatics, 2006. 7:376.