Dr. Ares will form an undergraduate research group composed of 10 to 15 students (mainly juniors and seniors); the program will serve 20 to 30 students over the course of three years. This research group will conduct genomic studies of splicing in humans and the malaria parasite Plasmodium spp., with two goals in mind. The first goal is to create a database of validated alternative splicing events in vertebrate organisms, with a special focus on humans. The second goal is to annotate the introns in the Plasmodium genome by using bioinformatic and molecular techniques. The group will develop a database that will be made publicly available on the Web.
In addition to gaining experience in the research lab, including learning how to use sophisticated instrumentation and technology, students will have formal contact with experts in the field, including faculty and post- and predoctoral fellows. Furthermore, scientists from other academic institutions and industry will give presentations to students as well as provide feedback on their projects and progress. In this way, students will be encouraged to experience teaching and learning as part of a research group, which will make them more likely to envision themselves as future scientist-teachers. Students will also have an opportunity to publish results in peer-reviewed journals and on the Web.
Dr. Ares’s research interests are in the areas of RNA processing as well as RNA structure and function, especially as they pertain to genome function and evolution. His research focuses on the machinery and regulation of processes that alter genomic information posttranscriptionally. His research accomplishments include discovering the yeast U2 snRNA, the first yeast snRNA with clear homology to mammalian splicing snRNA; annotating introns in the Saccharomycescerevisiae genome and creating a searchable public database of intron predictions for yeast; discovering that U3 snRNA is required for processing 18S rRNA but not 25S rRNA in yeast; and showing that rearranged group I ribozymes can be used to generate circular RNA in vitro and in vivo and that circular mRNAs with infinite open reading frames can direct the synthesis of large repeating sequence proteins in bacteria.
Most recently, Dr. Ares has been applying microarray technology to issues of RNA processing. Future research will focus on understanding on a genome-wide level how the RNA processing machinery interprets genomic information and how these processes have contributed to the evolution of eukaryotes and eukaryotic genomes.
Last updated October 2002