I am a 4th year student in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Arkansas Tech University – Bachelor of Science in Biology, Bachelor of Arts in Music, Minor in Chemistry
My graduate work aims to expand current knowledge on the regulation of the double stranded break response. Specifically, I study the histone H2AX and how it interacts with downstream components of the DNA damage response. Recently, I have been working to characterize a non-canonical mechanism of 53BP1 recruitment to sites of DNA damage which we found is mediated by the H2AX C-terminal linker region.
Notable about her time as a Graduate
I have been fortunate to attend multiple scientific conferences during my graduate studies. Before the conferences, I was so nervous about presenting at the poster sessions. However, once I got started, I realized that poster sessions are a lot of fun. It’s a great way to meet other scientists that are interested in your work, get input and new ideas, and geek out. So now, I look forward to presenting at poster sessions and getting to discuss my research with new people in a relaxed setting.
Once I obtain my PhD I will continue to pursue a career in cancer research.
Experiment or Technique most like to do
One of my favorite techniques in the lab is cloning. Prior to and during my graduate studies, I did a lot of synthetic biology to develop plasmids for my projects. I really enjoy piecing things together or changing sequences to make something entirely new.
I do MMA and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and I have a black belt in Taekwondo. While I don’t practice as much as I used to (life is busy), I still spend many evenings wrestling my two- and four-year-old.
- Lee SO, Kelliher JL, Song W, Tengler K, Sarkar A, Dray E, Leung JWC. UBA80 and UBA52 fine-tune RNF168-dependent histone ubiquitination and DNA repair. J Biol Chem. 2023 Jul 12;:105043. doi: 10.1016/j.jbc.2023.105043. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 37451480.
- Kelliher J, Ghosal G, Leung JWC. New answers to the old RIDDLE: RNF168 and the DNA damage response pathway. FEBS J. 2021 Apr 2;. doi: 10.1111/febs.15857. Review. PubMed PMID: 33797206; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8486888.
- Kelliher JL, West KL, Gong Q, Leung JWC. Histone H2A variants alpha1-extension helix directs RNF168-mediated ubiquitination. Nat Commun. 2020 May 18;11(1):2462. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-16307-4. PubMed PMID: 32424115; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7235047.
- Pont MJ, Hill T, Cole GO, Abbott JJ, Kelliher J, Salter AI, Hudecek M, Comstock ML, Rajan A, Patel BKR, Voutsinas JM, Wu Q, Liu L, Cowan AJ, Wood BL, Green DJ, Riddell SR. γ-Secretase inhibition increases efficacy of BCMA-specific chimeric antigen receptor T cells in multiple myeloma. Blood. 2019 Nov 7;134(19):1585-1597. doi: 10.1182/blood.2019000050. PubMed PMID: 31558469; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6871311.
- West KL, Kelliher JL, Xu Z, An L, Reed MR, Eoff RL, Wang J, Huen MSY, Leung JWC. LC8/DYNLL1 is a 53BP1 effector and regulates checkpoint activation. Nucleic Acids Res. 2019 Jul 9;47(12):6236-6249. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkz263. PubMed PMID: 30982887; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6614850.
2022 – Awarded a $1500 travel grant through the WPRCI Cancer Research Training and Education Core
2023 – Awarded a $5161 Voucher through the WPRCI Shared Resource Voucher Program
2023 – Received 1st place for the Bhuvan Award for Excellence in Biochemistry Research at UAMS Student Research Day
2023 – Received award for Best Graduate Student Poster at the WPRCI Cancer Institute Retreat