Research in my lab focuses on the molecular genetics of meiosis in Drosophila melanogaster.
Chromosomes are dynamic elements that exist within a nuclear ecosystem. This ecosystem can respond to developmental and environmental cues by changing the chromatin state, the 3-dimensional chromosome architecture, and chromosome movement during cell division. My research focuses on the highly regulated processes that are implemented during meiosis that ensure homologous chromosomes segregate before sister chromatids. Crossovers, which provide the connections between chromosomes that guarantee accurate segregation, are formed by using homologous recombination to repair programed double-stranded breaks in the DNA. There are more breaks than crossovers, however, and only a subset of breaks are selected to become crossovers. Only crossovers made in specific parts of the chromosome are useful for chromosome segregation, and thus the decision about which breaks to repair as crossovers is critical and highly regulated. My research combines traditional Drosophila genetics and modern whole genome sequencing approaches to ask how chromosomes integrate a complex set of input requirements to select which breaks are repaired as crossovers.