Photo: Jennifer on Mt. Sentinel overlooking the University of Montana-Missoula campus. She was there in August 2008 for the Debating Science Program/Workshop that was sponosred by NSF.
Hi! I am Jennifer Jacobi and I’m from St. Charles, Missouri, about 25 miles northwest of St. Louis. I earned a B.S. in biological sciences and minors in chemistry and mathematics from the University of Missouri-Rolla (now Missouri University of Science and Technology). I was accepted to Purdue through the PULSe program and I started my first semester at Purdue in August 2007. After rotations in agronomy, biochemistry, and horticulture, I joined Dr. Ann Kirchmaier’s lab.
I am interested in how genetic and environmental factors affect epigenetic processes. Using S. cerevisiae as a model system, I am studying interactions between chromatin assembly factors and histone proteins utilizing genetic and biochemical techniques. Chromatin assembly factors, histone modifying enzymes, and histone modifications play important roles in DNA damage response, gene silencing, and replication. One particular histone modification involved in these processes that I am studying is the acetylation of lysine 56 on histone H3 (H3 K56ac). H3 K56ac is carried out by acetyltransferase, Rtt109p and stimulated by chromatin assembly factor, Asf1p, which binds histone H3/H4 dimers. I am looking at the effects of H3 K56ac on responses to DNA damage and silencing.
I am also studying how plant secondary metabolites that are dietary factors influence the activity of Sir2p (SIRT1 in humans), a NAD+-dependent histone deacetylase which maintains silent chromatin. This research is being conducted in collaboration with the Janle and Ferruzzi labs in the Departments of Food and Nutrition and Food Science at Purdue. We are using in vitro assays as well as an in vivo rat model to monitor bioaccessibility of the metabolites.