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Andrea Hallberg

Mentor: Robert Cornell, Ph.D.
Lab Room: 1-400 BSB
Lab Phone: 319-335-7725

Understanding the dynamic role of fap2a in the neural crest gene regulatory network

The neural crest is a dynamic transient cell population during development which gives rise to a wide array of cell types, including craniofacial cartilage, sensory neurons, and melanocytes. A defect in the neural crest can lead to several genetic birth defects such as Waardenburg syndrome and cleft lip and palate. A large gene regulatory network controls the specification of the neural crest from the neural plate boarder. We use zebrafish as a model system to determine the role of Tfap2a, a transcription factor, in this gene regulatory network. We are developing gene expression profiles in order to determine targets of Tfap2a regulation, direct and indirect. Along with these profile experiments, we are searching for cis-regulatory elements, or enhancers, which regulate Tfap2a expression.

Hallberg AR, Vorrink SU, Hudachek DR, Cramer-Morales K, Milhem MM, Cornell RA, Domann FE. Aberrant CpG methylation of the TFAP2A gene constitutes a mechanism for loss of TFAP2A expression in human metastatic melanoma. Epigenetics. 2014 Dec;9(12):1641-7. doi: 10.4161/15592294.2014.988062. PubMed PMID: 25625848; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4622677.

Honors and Awards

  • NRSA F31 Recipient- NIH
  • Paul D. Henion Graduate Student Travel Award- Society for Developmental Biology
  • Excellence in Student Teaching- Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
  • Marine Biological Laboratory Tuition Scholarship
  • UI Hugh Vollrath Ross Scholarship
  • University of Iowa Institute for Clinical and Translational Science travel award