Back in the paleolithic, I basically invented Saccharomyces – you’re welcome. As a pioneer of the molecular era, I cut my teeth with the membrane trafficking system. If you say ARF!, I say to which membrane and at what time. Although I have dabbled in evolution in the past, I have never considered myself an evolutionary biologist… until now. In the Wideman lab, I lead a number of projects capitalizing on my past experience in molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, and biochemistry. Primarily, I am using the yeast system to investigate how eukaryotic ATP synthases and mitochondrial protein import apparatuses have evolved and diversified. In addition, I am developing spatial proteomics methods for various eukaryotic species.
Dagmar (Dasa) Jirsová
I'm a postdoc in Wideman's newly growing kingdom. Besides the passion for science, I also have a very particular set of skills that come in very handy during the fieldwork. My projects are focused on making the impossible a reality. Pioneering my way through finding the optimal conditions for protist cultivation, adapting and improving protocols, and on a hunt to discover new and corky representatives of heterotrophic stramenopiles.
I'm a Ph.D. Candidate interested in evolutionary cell biology. I grew up in New Jersey, graduating from Stockton University with a B.S. in Biology. I did post-graduate work studying the genetics of heart-disease in fast-growing broilers before joining the Center for Mechanisms of Evolution with Michael Lynch. I'm now jointly in the Lynch and Wideman Labs as my work has recently centered around mapping the sub-cellular proteome of Paramecium tetraurelia (and potentially more unicellular eukaryotes). I'm interested mainly in the evolution of duplicate genes and how spatial proteomics can be used to detect changes in localization patterns between paralogous and orthologous proteins.
In my spare time I like to meander Python and R scripts in a never-ending quest for computational satisfaction. When I am not investigating the evolutionary diversity of eukaryotic electron transport chains and ATP synthase, I am probably eating or sleeping. Sometimes I also play video games or attend auxiliary meetings about the prokaryotic origins of mitochondria. As the youngest member of the Wideman lab, at 16 I only have a single publication to my name, but I am working on increasing that number.
I really did not know what I was getting into when I entered the Wideman lab. At first, I was looking into the mitochondrial genomes of Picozoans, then I was looking at mitochondrial fission in S. cerevisiae, and now I am looking into the evolution of non-vesicular lipid transport in eukaryotes. As a junior, I already have one co-authorship under review and am working on my own project for eventual publication. I am currently investigating the evolutionary history of the oxysterol binding proteins (OSBPs). So far, I have demonstrated that five OSBPs were present in the ancestor of fungi and six OSBPs were present in the ancestor of animals. Of these one in each of animals and fungi were previously unknown. To investigate the specific function of these newly found OSBPs I will use S. cerevisiae as a heterologous expression system.
Ever since I joined the lab, I have been clawing my way back to favourability due to an ill-received joke about not liking science. My lack of foresight has now chained me to an undergraduate degree of servitude and penance before I embrace my true calling and pursue a career in medicine. My fascination with mitochondria began shortly after I was introduced to their existence. Although they are famously called the ‘powerhouses of the cell’, their cell biology is much more interesting. For example, mitochondria are dynamic organelles, constantly moving, fusing, and dividing. Although the mechanism of mitochondrial fission is well understood in both animals and fungi, how mitochondria fuse in other eukaryotes is unknwon. In the Wideman lab, I am investigating the evolution of mitochondrial fusion by expressing putative fusogens from diverse eukaryotic lineages in yeast.
Hi! I’m Daniel Richardson, and I grew up in the metropolis of Thatcher, Arizona before attending Arizona State University. I’m currently studying Biological Sciences, and minoring in Communication. I’m excited to be a part of the Wideman Lab! For my research, I am investigating mitochondrial fission and fusion in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
My plan A in life is to star in a Broadway production of Oklahoma!, my plan B is to become a medical doctor. In the meantime, I am doing research into the evolution and diversification of eukaryotic cholesterol transport. Specifically, I am investigating the function of TSPO (translocator protein), which, in animals, plays a role in steroidogenesis and cholesterol transport into mitochondrial membranes. Steroidogenesis and cholesterol are animal-specific traits, but TSPO is present in diverse eukaryotes suggesting that its function may be important for sterol transport and metabolism in general. First, I will bioinformatically map the presence and absence of TSPO and associated proteins across the eukaryotic lineages. Second, I will express Homo sapiens and Neurospora crassa TSPO in Saccharomyces cerevisiae to determine its cell biological and biochemical affects.