Research in the Cram Lab @ Northeastern University
After completing my undergraduate degree, I had the great fortune to serve as the first lab technician/manager in the lab of Erin Cram at Northeastern University. While there, I followed up on work from a previous master's student that identified an in vitro interaction between the novel C. elegans protein CACN-1 and the critical Wnt signaling component, MIG-5, a dishevelled homolog. I used a POP-1 (TCF/LEF) reporter, called POPTOP, to visualize changes in Wnt signaling activation during uterine development. Knockdown of cacn-1 by feeding RNAi caused a dramatic increase in POPTOP expression that was dependent on SYS-1 (Beta-catenin) and POP-1, suggesting that CACN-1 normally serves as a negative regulator of Wnt signaling in the developing uterus. Through work with collaborators at the University of Oxford, we showed that this role for CACN-1 in Wnt signaling is also conserved in seam cell development (LaBonty et al, 2014).