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Informatics Research Seminar: Fruit Flies Get Tipsy Too!…and other Translational Research using the model organism- Drosophila melanogaster.

January 30 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST

Speaker: Catherine Silver Key, PhD

Presented from NCCU

Broadcast Link: Seminar


This seminar will focus on how model organisms, such as Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly), are used to illuminate understanding of human health and human behavior in an emerging field known as ‘translational research’.  The ultimate idea is that one can take what is discovered at the lab bench and bring it to the patient’s bedside.  Though not a medical clinician, while in her lab at the wet-bench, Dr. Silver Key analyzes the alcohol-induced behavior of a living library of fruit flies known as the Drosophila Genetics Reference Panel (DGRP) with the aim of discovering novel genes involved in alcoholism. One unique gene that has an alcohol-resistance phenotype, discovered in the lab (independent of the DGRP project) is also important for ovarian cancer. Additionally, Dr. Silver Key’s lab, as part of the Genomics Education Partnership (GEP), annotates gene boundaries and regulatory elements using comparative genomics at the in silico bench.  Both ‘translational research’ in general and present data on Dr. Silver Key’s current research will be introduced.


Catherine Silver Key, PhD, completed her doctorate in Microbiology and Immunology at UNC-Chapel Hill.  Subsequently, she taught at Elon University for 2.5 years as an adjunct visiting professor in the Biology Department and then spent 4 years as a Seeding Post-doctoral Innovators in Research and Education (SPIRE) at UNC-Chapel Hill. She is currently a tenured, associate professor of Biological & Biomedical Sciences at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). Her lab focuses on studying genes that effect development and behavior of the organism, Drosophila melanogaster (the fruit fly) and genomes of related Drosophila species using bioinformatics.  She is currently supported by an NIH/NIGMS sub-award from Chapel Hill.



January 30
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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