My C.V. can be found here.
I have been at the Department of Chemistry at Illinois College since Fall 2003. Courses include:
General Biochemistry I (Chem 309):
General Biochemistry II (Chem 310):
Advanced Molecular Biology (Biol 367):
Cell and Molecular Biology (Biol 307):
Senior Seminar I (Chem 441)
Senior seminar II (Chem 442)
Chemistry and Society (Chem 101):
General Chemistry I (Chem 111):
General Chemistry II (Chem 112):
I am interested in the regulation of gene expression on the molecular level. Because gene expression involves interactions of proteins with nucleic acids, to understand how gene expression is regulated we must understand how proteins and nucleic acids interact physically in solution and how these interactions serve in modulating the activity(ies) of each component.
My research efforts include RNA splicing, which is a process by which some RNA fragments, called intron, are removed from a pre-messenger RNA. The remaining RNA fragments, called exons, are joined, to produce a mature messenger RNA. This process takes place within a large complex of protein and RNA called the spliceosome. To splice RNA correctly, the RNA substrate (pre-mRNA) must be recognized appropriately by the spliceosome.
Another area of research has been RNA transcription. Transcription is the process by which the RNA polymer is synthesized by an enzyme called RNA polymerase. Under most conditions RNA polymerase utilizes a DNA template, which is used to ensure that the information in the DNA is used to generate an error-free RNA. RNA polymerase is a complex of several proteins, and to correctly carry out the transcription reaction RNA polymerase must maintain the appropriate contacts with the DNA (the template), the incoming nucleotide (the substrate), and the RNA (the product). In transcription, as is the case in RNA splicing, the protein-nucleic acid interactions must be understood in order to understand the entire process.