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Vikki M Weake


  • Assistant Professor of Biochemistry
BCHM Room 320A

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Weake Lab

The Weake laboratory focuses on the interplay between chromatin and transcription during development using the fruitfly Drosophila as our primary model system. Our long-term goal is to understand how transcription is coordinated with other chromatin-based processes in developing versus differentiated, mature cells in metazoans. Some of the current projects underway in our laboratory include:

• Xinping Chen is examining age-related defects in response to light stress in Drosophila photoreceptors.

• Hana Hall studies transcriptional and epigenetic changes associated with aging in Drosophila photoreceptor neurons.

• Jingqun Ma studies transcriptional regulation in specific cell types, such as glial cells and photoreceptor neurons during the processes of development, aging and in response to stress.

• Rachel Stegeman investigates how splicing components within transcriptional machinery, such as in the SAGA complex, affect gene expression. She is interested in understanding how splicing and transcription are coordinated, and whether dysregulation of this coordination could have implications for gene expression during normal aging.

• Bob Stephenson and Eliana Torres Zelada work on understanding how DNA replication and transcription are coordinated with histone acetylation in specific cell types and developmental stages during the Drosophila cell cycle.  

We also have several undergraduate researchers in the laboratory: Kaelan Brennan studies changes in gene expression in the aging eye. Peyton Spreacker, Arryn Harris, Amy Bowman and Ben Anderson are identifying mutations that disrupt protein-interactions within the SAGA complex.  

Our studies are funded by NIH R01EY024905, the Showalter Trust, and the CTSI. 

We are actively seeking new graduate students, so if you are interested in finding out more about our research – please contact Dr. Weake (