I’m a molecular geneticist, working on genes in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster.

I’m San Francisco born and bred. Did my PhD at UCSF, started by working on HOX genes, then onto the P element.

Currently I’m working on a new gene which I identified, called joust. It’s another retrotransposon – a ‘jumping gene’.

joust┬áhas an open reading frame and definitely makes a protein. We’ve done yeast 2-hybrid screens to find binding proteins.┬áSomething binds but so far we haven’t been able to isolate it from the background.

I started all this by collaborating with PJ Beltran of Temixco Biotech Institute, Mexico. He’d found something similar to joust in maize genes – he called it phoenix. (Eighties Atari games, anyone? That’s right – we were inspired by frogger. The gene, I mean!)


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