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Kathleen Morrill

Kathleen Morrill
University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School · Bioinformatics and Integrative Biology

Bachelor of Science

About

19
Publications
734
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144
Citations
Introduction
I am a PhD candidate developing my dissertation on the behavioral genomics of domestic dogs, applying bioinformatics approaches to deduce the genetic basis of behavioral issues and features shared with human neuropsychiatric conditions. As a team member on Darwin's Ark, a community science project on health and behavior in pet dogs, and the Dog Aging Project, a longitudinal study of healthy aging and longevity, I have ample experience with public-facing scientific initiatives.

Publications

Publications (19)
Article
Behavioral genetics in dogs has focused on modern breeds, which are isolated subgroups with distinctive physical and, purportedly, behavioral characteristics. We interrogated breed stereotypes by surveying owners of 18,385 purebred and mixed-breed dogs and genotyping 2155 dogs. Most behavioral traits are heritable [heritability (h2) > 25%], and adm...
Article
The Dog Aging Project is a long-term longitudinal study of ageing in tens of thousands of companion dogs. The domestic dog is among the most variable mammal species in terms of morphology, behaviour, risk of age-related disease and life expectancy. Given that dogs share the human environment and have a sophisticated healthcare system but are much s...
Article
Full-text available
Genetic elements in the bacteriophage λ immunity region contribute to stable maintenance and synchronous induction of the integrated E. coli prophage. There is a bistable switch between lysogenic and lytic growth that is orchestrated by the CI and Cro repressors acting on the lytic (PL and PR) and lysogenic (PRM) promoters, referred to as the Genet...
Article
Full-text available
Dogs are an unparalleled natural model for investigating the genetics of health and disease, particularly for complex diseases like cancer. Comprehensive genomic annotation of regulatory elements active in healthy canine tissues is crucial both for identifying candidate causal variants and for designing functional studies needed to translate geneti...
Article
Full-text available
Dogs are an unparalleled natural model for investigating the genetics of health and disease, particularly for complex diseases like cancer. Comprehensive genomic annotation of regulatory elements active in healthy canine tissues is crucial both for identifying candidate causal variants and for designing functional studies needed to translate geneti...
Article
Full-text available
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) are two incurable neurodegenerative disorders that exist on a symptomological spectrum and share both genetic underpinnings and pathophysiological hallmarks. Functional abnormality of TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43), an aggregation-prone RNA and DNA binding protein...
Data
gypsy expression turns on stochastically in young brains and reaches peak expression in the population at mid-adulthood. (A) Transcript levels of gypsy ORF3 (Env) as detected by qPCR on whole head tissue of flies expressing (A.1) neuronal hTDP-43 (ELAV > hTDP-43), or genetic controls: (A.2) ELAV / + and (A.3) hTDP-43 / +. gypsy ORF3 transcript leve...
Data
NRTI administration does not affect fly feeding behavior and expression of IR constructs individually does not affect lifespan or hTDP-43 expression. However, NRTI administration extends lifespan in flies expressing hTDP-43 in glia. (A) qPCR on head tissue demonstrates that expressing an IR directed against gypsy ORF2 (gypsy(IR)) in neurons (ELAV >...
Data
A: Abundance of gene-derived transcripts in head tissue of flies expressing pan-neuronal hTDP-43 compared to controls. B: Abundance of transposon-derived transcripts in head tissue of flies expressing pan-neuronal hTDP-43 compared to controls. C:Fly orthologs of ALS KEGG gene set. (XLSX)
Data
Co-expression of IR constructs does not alter hTDP-43 expression level. (A) An equivalent analysis as described for (S5A) demonstrates that neuronal (ELAV > loki(IR)) and glial (Repo > loki(IR)) expression of an IR directed against loki (loki(IR)) effectively blocks the age-dependent elevation of loki transcript levels, resulting in an ~2-fold redu...
Data
Turning on white+ expression post-developmentally rescues red eye pigmentation in Drosophila. Loss of suppression of gypsy cannot be explained by hTDP-43- or age-dependent effects on siRNA effector molecules. (A) Schematic representation of the experimental design. (B) Representative images demonstrating that turning off w(IR) expression post-devel...
Data
A: Abundance of gene-derived transcripts in head tissue of flies expressing pan-glial hTDP-43 compared to controls. B: Abundance of transposon-derived transcripts in head tissue of flies expressing pan-glial hTDP-43 compared to controls. (XLSX)
Data
Expression levels (RPM) of fly TBPH and hTDP-43. (XLSX)
Data
Differentially expressed genes in Repo-TDP-43 heads enriches for fly orthologs of ALS-KEGG gene set. Among the KEGG gene set annotated as functionally related to ALS pathways. Although this is by no means a complete list of genes that have been implicated in ALS in the literature, it represents a set of gene pathways with known involvement in ALS....
Data
Characterizing hTDP-43 expression. (A) TUNEL staining reveals very little apoptotic activity when hTDP-43 is expressed in the mushroom body under OK107-Gal4, even when the animals are aged to 30 days post-eclosion. Mushroom bodies marked by co-expression of GFP, shown in green; TUNEL staining shown in red. OK107 > GFP, 5 Day, N = 3; OK107 > GFP + h...
Data
Mapping statistics for RNA-seq. (XLSX)
Data
Expression of hTDP-43 results in a loss of siRNAs anti-sense to RTEs whose expression is increased. Sequencing of small-RNAs from heads detects siRNAs that are predicted to target broad range of RTEs. Among RTEs whose expression is elevated in Repo>TDP-43 (vs control), there is a selective decrease in anti-sense relative to sense stranded siRNAs. (...
Data
Summary statistics for small RNA seq mapping. (XLSX)
Preprint
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) are two incurable neurodegenerative disorders that exist on a symptomological spectrum and share both genetic underpinnings and pathophysiological hallmarks. Functional abnormality of TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43), an aggregation-prone RNA and DNA binding protein...

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