Assistant Professor of Biology
Office: Hurst 238C
Office Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays: 5-6pm, Tuesdays: 1:30-3:30pm, and Fridays: 2-3pm
Phone number: 943-2552
Courses I am teaching spring, 2013:
Courses I have taught:
- Biological Principles
- Cell Biology
- Cell Biology Lab
- Genes in Society
- Living Planet
- Molecular Biology
- Organic Chemistry
- Scientific Writing
- Ph.D., Biology, University of Oregon
- B.A., Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, B.A., Biochemistry, University of Colorado-Boulder
Using genetic and biochemical techniques, I examine the role chromatin (the DNA-RNA-protein complexes which make up chromosomes) plays in centromere formation and gene expression in the simple eukaryotic model organism Neurospora crassa. To determine its role in centromere formation, we delete a centromere and examine neocentromeres that subsequently form. To determine its role in gene expression, we modify the boundaries between transcriptionally silent and active regions of chromosomes and assay the expression of a nearby reporter gene.
Some of my research students are also examining the dot chromosome of various species of Drosophila fruit flies as part of the Genomics Education Partnership. They generate high quality finished sequences from raw sequence data and they annotate genes and other features to facilitate an evolutionary approach to understand the atypical chromatin strucutres and gene expression patterns of the dot chromosome.
- Hays SM, Swanson J, Selker EU. Identification and characterization of the genes encoding the core histones and histone variants of Neurospora crassa. Genetics. 2002 Mar;160(3):961-73.
- Hays SM and Selker EU. Making the selectable marker bar tighter and more economical Fungal Genetics Newsletter. 2000 Aug; 47:107.