After graduating from the University of Oklahoma in 2010 with my B.A., I spent some time in the working world before pursuing my passion for science and embarking on my studies. Then, in 2020, I joined the GPiBS program at OUHSC. After completing my first year of studies, I joined Dr. Gaffney’s research team in the summer of 2021. Work preceding my arrival uncovered several genetic risk variants for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), most of which are in non-protein coding regions of the genome. From this information, it was confirmed that their influence is regulatory in nature. The focus of my work is to uncover the effects that these variations in genetic sequence have on the function of regulatory regions in the genome and how that influences SLE pathology. Enhancers and other regulatory regions of the genome influence disease state by regulating gene transcription. We aim to uncover their function by combining CRISPR editing with high-throughput sequencing methods. When not exploring the human epigenome, I enjoy a good outdoor adventure, playing guitar, and hitting the gym (or a few golf balls).
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