Emily Erdmann is fascinated by molecular biology and genetics. In particular, she finds it interesting how the small, individual post-transcriptional regulatory events of gene expression (especially RNA-level regulation) can add up to major biological consequences.
Erdmann is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Genome, Cell, and Developmental Biology Graduate Program at Indiana University Bloomington and a member in the lab of Heather Hundley, an associate professor in the IU College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biology.
The National Institutes of Health has presented Erdmann with its Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (Parent F31). The Kirschstein-NRSA program provides promising predoctoral students with potential to develop into productive, independent research scientists the means to obtain mentored research training while conducting dissertation research. The fellowship for $97,783 will help fund Erdmann's research on ADAR function in the germline.
ADARs (Adenosine Deaminases that Act on RNA) are enzymes which can modify and regulate cellular messages in the form of RNA. ADARs can alter the expression of certain genes to help maintain the unique functions of different cell types under different conditions. Erdmann’s work specifically focuses on identifying the roles of ADARs in gene regulation in the germline, or reproductive cells. The germline is a compelling tissue for studying ADARs because RNA-level regulation of gene expression is critical in maintaining proper reproductive function.