Hendrix Team’s Research on DNA Transcription Published

The work of a research team headed by Hendrix College Professor of Biology Dr. Andrea Duina has resulted in an article recently published in the journal Transcription. The researchers working in Duina’s laboratory included Jessica Campbell ’19 and Michaela Edwards ’19, who were undergraduates at the time the work was completed, and Sydney Ozersky ’17, an alumna who worked as a technician in the lab.

Five students and their professor pose for a photograph
Members of the Duina lab attending the 2018 Yeast Genetics Meeting at Stanford University were, from left, Michaela Edwards ’19, Jessica Campbell ’19, Sam Byrd ’19, Dr. Andrea Duina, Brianna Hoyt ’19, and Sydney Ozersky ’17.

The overarching goal of the Duina laboratory is to gain further insights into the fundamental mechanisms utilized by cells to ensure proper expression of their genetic material. This research, funded by the National Science Foundation, involved studying DNA transcription, the first step in the gene expression process. Duina lab researchers use the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae for their studies, and due to the high degree of genetic and functional conservation across all species, their work provides insights into human biology as well.

“In particular, since the gene expression process is at the heart of essentially all aspects of cell and organismal functions, these studies contribute to our understanding of a process of central importance to all of life,” Duina said.

The article, “Evidence that dissociation of Spt16 from transcribed genes is partially dependent on RNA Polymerase II termination,” was published Dec. 6. 

“One of the most rewarding aspects of being a faculty member at Hendrix College is to have the opportunity to interact and mentor bright and highly motivated undergraduate students,” Duina said. “In addition to having generated the critical data that led to our most recent publication, Jessica and Michaela also presented their work at several meetings, including the 2018 Yeast Genetics Meeting at Stanford University. I believe that these types of experiences are invaluable for our students as they move forward in their careers beyond Hendrix.”