Assistant Professor of Biology
Degrees and Certifications
- BS, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Massachusetts – Amherst, 1996
- PhD, Genetics, University of Wisconsin – Madison, 2002
- Assistant Professor of Biology: Lynchburg College, 2011-present
- Associate Professor of Biology: Augusta State University, 2005-2011
- Assistant Professor of Biology: Georgia Perimeter College, 2004-2005
- Visiting Research Fellow: Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, 2002-2004
- Graduate research assistant: University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1996-2002
- Introductory Biology
- Human Anatomy
- Human Physiology
My current research focuses on analyzing DNA sequence determinants of gene expression in the bacteria Vibrio fischeri. Previous studies of the rrn genes in the bacterium Escherichia coli have laid a strong foundation for our understanding of gene expression. These genes have proven to be a successful model for studying transcription in E. coli; therefore I am investigating the rrn genes in other bacterial species to learn more about transcription regulation. Specifically, I use reporter gene constructs to analyze the factors involved in gene expression in V. fischeri. This work will further our understanding of the prokaryotic gene regulation. What we learn about transcription will help us to better understand the process of gene expression in general and how this process is regulated.
Selected examples of my work:
- Hirvonen, C.A., Ross, W., Wozniack, C.E., Aiyar, S.E., Marasco, E., Anthony, J.R., Newburn, V.N., and Gourse, R.L. 2001. Contributions of UP elements and the transcription factor FIS to expression from the seven rrn P1 promoters in Escherichia coli. Journal of Bacteriology 183:6305-6314.
- Aiyar, S.E., McLeod, S.M., Ross, W., Hirvonen, C.A., Thomas, MS, Johnson, R.C., and Gourse, R.L. 2002. Architecture of Fis-activated transcription complexes at the Escherichia coli rrnB P1 and rrnE P1 promoters. Journal of Molecular Biology 316:501-516.
- Gourse, R.L., Gaal, T., Aiyar, S.E., Barker, M.M., Estrem, S.T., Hirvonen, C.A., and Ross, W. 1998. Strength and regulation without transcription factors: lessons from bacterial rRNA promoters. Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology 63:131-139.
- Chong, S., Mersha, F.B., Comb, D.G., Scott, M.E., Landry, D., Vence, L.M., Perler, F.B., Benner, J., Kucera, R.B., Hirvonen, C.A., Pelletier, J.J., Paulus, H., and Xu, M.Q. 1997. Single-column purification of free recombinant proteins using a self-cleavable affinity tag derived from a protein splicing element. Gene 192:271-281.
Professional Associations and Affiliations
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
- American Society of Human Genetics
- National Association of Biology Teachers
- Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society