Graduate Student, Microbiology Doctoral Training Program
B.S. Biotechnology, Indiana University
Gina joined the Pfleger Lab in January 2014 and is in the Microbiology Doctoral Training Program (MDTP). She has a BS in Biotechnology from Indiana University and is originally from Cincinnati Ohio. Gina is part of the Biotechnology Training Program (BTP) at UW Madison and is interested in working in industry after graduation.
Gina is interested in mechanisms that control gene expression as well as developing tools to better predict and manipulate expression of genes of interest.She is specifically studying RNA decay in industrially relevant microorganisms that are being used to produce high-value chemicals. RNA decay is an often-overlooked process that affects how much of a transcript is around and thus how muchprotein can be translated from that transcript. By better understanding the enzymes that are involved in this process and their specificity we may be able to better predict transcript abundance and expression levels. Gina is focusing on ribonuclease III (RNase III), which cleaves long double-stranded regions of RNA in a non-sequence specific manner. With better knowledge of the types of structures this enzyme can cleave, we can create tools genetic tools to manipulate transcript stability and lead to better predictions of protein expression levels based on nucleotide sequences.