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
- Influences of genetic and environmental variables on the kinetics of cell differentiation
- Genomic analysis of RNA interference pathway proteins
- Diversity and substrate specialization of yeast species in Whatcom county (outreach project w/ local middle schools)
Current Lab Members
Halley Steiner, Undergraduate Researcher (Projects: Engineering fluorescent protein translational fusions, Expression of pheromone response genes, Comparison of fluorescence-based and fluorescence-free cell segmentation methods for different cell morphologies)
Brian Miller, Undergraduate Researcher (Projects: Tetrahymena RNAi pathway precursors and targets - collaboration with the Lee Lab)
Chayse Jones, Undergraduate Researcher (Projects: Engineering fluorescent protein translational fusions, Expression of pheromone response genes)
Tiara Johnson, Undergraduate Researcher (Projects: Pheromone response reaction norms, Genetic mapping of protein expression modifiers using bulk segregant analysis)
Tanner Thuet-Davenport, Undergraduate Researcher (Projects: Genetic mapping of protein expression modifiers using bulk segregant analysis)
Anastacia Wienecke, Undergraduate Researcher (Projects: Variation in codon adaptation index)
Former Lab Members
Genny Gould (currently PhD student at MIT)
Daniel Cohen (currently Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company)
Homa Rahnamoun (currently PhD student at UCSD)
Austin Abendroth (currently Nurses Assistant at Peacehealth Medical)
Emma Ciechanowski (currently Research Assistant at Seattle Genetics)
Ciara Asamoto (currently PhD student at UC Boulder)
Shelby Duffy (currently undergraduate student at WWU)
Yuli Buckley (currently undergraduate student at Whitman College)
I am currently recruiting undergraduate and masters graduate students.
- 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. Summer pay is possible if you begin working in the lab in the Winter quarter or earlier.
- NSF support is available for masters students in my lab. 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.
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.