Molly Schumer, Ph.D.

Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Biology
Institution
Stanford University
Address
327 Campus Drive
Bass Bldg. Room 113
City, State, ZIP
Stanford, CA 94305
Phone
650-498-1446
Email
[email protected]
Website
https://schumerlab.com
Research field
Genetics
Award year
2021

Research

The Schumer lab will explore how genomes respond to hybridization—the movement of genes between species. The transfer of genes between species has long been appreciated in plants and organisms such as bacteria, which frequently exchange genes such as those that confer antibiotic resistance, but is more recently recognized in animals. But sometimes hybridization can have serious consequences in the form of genetic incompatibility: In a recent study we found that the combination of genes from two species of swordtail fish transformed a normal tail spot into a malignant melanoma. Combining this powerful genetic system for studying hybridization with cutting-edge techniques in molecular genetics, genomics, and high-throughput cell culture methods, our lab will determine whether certain regions of the genome are more vulnerable or resistant than others to the movement of genes between species and identify genetic exchanges that either compromise or boost the fitness of hybrid fish by examining their physiological functions from energy production to embryonic development. This work will increase our understanding of the evolution of genomes and provide insight into genetic pathways that are dysregulated in diseases such as cancer.

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