University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

Research Overview

The O'Neill lab uses molecular genetic and cytogenetic techniques to study centromere determinance; centromere function and evolution; small RNA biogenesis; transcriptional control of chromatin modifiers; chromosome evolution; speciation and hybrid dysgenesis in several model systems, including human, mouse, marsupial, platypus (somatic cells, germ cells and embryonic stem cells). Using techniques such as in situ hybridization, microarray screening, cell assays, artificial chromosome constuction, and next-generation sequencing platforms (Illumina and 454 pyrosequencing), we are addressing the hypothesis that small RNA forms mediate centromere function. We are also using these techniques to study species-specific placental development and evolution with respect to retroelement load; transposable elements and retroviruses; and, the epigenetic effectors of gene expression and chromosome structure in models as diverse as deer mice and matrotrophic fish.