Current: Director of HPPI [Health Professions Partnership Initiative]. Currently developing clinical experiences for students at Connecticut Valley Hospital.
Please Note: Dr. Donady’s research is no longer active.
Former Research Interest: Gene regulation of muscle differentiation in Drosophila
Developmental genetics research in this laboratory centers on the genetic basis of cellular differentiation and eukaryotic gene regulation. We employ the tools of cytogenetics, molecular biology, recombinant DNA technology and transmission genetics to investigate gene activity in Drosophila myogenesis in vitro.
1. The actin gene family in Drosophila contains six members: two genes produce cytoplasmic actins while the other four are muscle specific (two primarily active in embryonic larval muscle differentiation and two active in pupal/adult muscle differentiation). We are interested in comparing the actin genes for sites of protein/DNA interaction as assayed by various footprinting techniques in embryonic myoblasts differentiating in culture and adult tissue. The relationship of such sites should shed light on time-specific gene regulation of the members of the actin gene family and the evolution of such regulatory mechanisms. Fusion genes will be constructed to test the functional significance of identified sites.
2. Nuclear Structure/Function. The role of the nuclear matrix in gene regulation is being investigated in nuclei of muscle cells in culture. The location of attachment sites are being mapped upstream of myogenic genes using a mild extraction procedure. The sites of matrix attachment will be compared in myogenic and non-myogenic differentiated cells as well as in undifferentiated cells. Fusion genes are being constructed to test the functional significance of such attachment sites.