Assistant Professor of Biology
Seychelle Vos will joined the Department of Biology as an Assistant Professor in the Fall of 2019. Professor Vos completed a PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2013. Her doctoral research investigated molecular mechanisms regulating machines involved in DNA organization. She completed her postdoctoral work at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Germany where she determined how the machine responsible for gene expression is regulated near gene promoters. She uses structural biology (cryo-electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography) and biochemistry to understand how gene expression and genome organization are physically coupled.
Nucleic acid machines must be properly coordinated in a spatiotemporal manner to ensure appropriate cell division, gene expression, and chromosome organization. DNA organization defines cell identity and fate by affecting cell specific gene expression. How exactly local chromatin environment and global genome architecture influence transcriptional activity remain major unanswered questions in transcription and chromosome biology. To understand how transcription and genome organization are physically coupled, we investigate molecular machines that reposition nucleosomes and organize the genome into loop-like structures. We use a combination of structural (X-ray crystallography, cryo-EM, cross-linking mass spectrometry) and biochemical techniques to explore how these machines affect and are affected by the process of transcription. Our efforts will provide models that can be used to understand how cells coordinate genome compaction and organization with gene expression to drive cell identity and fate.
Photo credit: Raleigh McElvery