Congratulations to Drs. Reine Protacio, Tresor Mukiza, Mari Davidson and Wayne Wahls in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The significance of their recent Genetics paper on the plasticity of meiotic recombination – a component of evolution of species – was just highlighted in the prestigious journal Nature Reviews Genetics. These accolades were featured with top billing on the home page of the journal and will appear in the August print issue (volume 23, issue 8). The discoveries made by Protacio et al. were also the topic of an invited perspective article in Frontiers in Genetics.
Dr. Kevin Raney, Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, notes that this is the tenth time that a scientific publication from Dr. Wahls’ laboratory has been discussed in a commentary, editorial, highlight or editors’ choice of top papers published during the year. “This is a remarkable achievement,” said Dr. Raney. “It reflects the sustained high quality of fundamental, basic science research conducted by a group of talented UAMS scientists.”
The Wahls laboratory uses a model experimental organism, fission yeast, to discover mechanisms for chromosome dynamics in meiosis, which is an essential component of the sexual life cycle of eukaryotes. Their research has provided insight into how chromosomes are transmitted faithfully between generations, how genetic recombination is positioned within genomes, and how meiotic processes contribute to the evolution of species.
Research in the Wahls laboratory is currently supported by a $1.7 million grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, which is the basic sciences institute of the National Institutes of Health.