Hometown: Franklin, TN
Education: BA in Molecular Biology from Colgate University
I am interested in understanding the role of the transcription factor Oc1 (Onecut1) in pancreas development and disease. Oc1 is essential for development of the endocrine pancreas, so I am investigating its interaction its cofactor Pdx1 in that role. I have thus far determined that proper dosage of both Oc1 and Pdx1 is necessary for endocrine cell differentiation and that defects established during development persist into adulthood. I am also interested in the role of Oc1 in development of the exocrine pancreas, especially the digestive-enzyme secreting acinar cells. To that end, I am working to identify the targets of Oc1 during pancreas development through both ChIP-Seq and RNA-Seq. I am further determining the role of Oc1 in acinar cell development by inactivating Oc1 specifically in differentiated acinar cells. These studies will shed light on how developmental defects due to Oc1 misexpression could lead to adult diseases such as diabetes, pancreatitis, and pancreatic cancer.
McGaughey DM, Abaan HO, Miller RM, Kropp PA, Brody LC.
G3 (Bethesda). 2014 Mar 21;4(5):861-9. doi: 10.1534/g3.113.009514.
Pekala KR, Ma X, Kropp PA, Petersen CP, Hudgens CW, Chung CH, Shi C, Merchant NB, Maitra A, Means AL, Gannon MA.
Lab Invest. 2014 May;94(5):517-27. doi: 10.1038/labinvest.2014.47. Epub 2014 Mar 17.