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Vikki M Weake


  • Associate Professor of Biochemistry
BCHM Room 320A

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Weake Lab

The Weake laboratory study the epigenetic mechanisms that control gene expression from the earliest stages of embryonic development to the oldest phases of adult aging. During early embryogenesis, developmental events and cell growth are exquisitely coordinated with rapid cell divisions to lay out a body plan for the growing animal. Later during aging, neurons in the brain no longer divide and become susceptible to cumulative damage resulting from exposure to stress, and the passage of time itself. Dr. Weake uses the fruitfly (Drosophila melanogaster) as a powerful model system to study aging and development, and provide insight into both cancer and age-associated neurodegenerative disease. Please visit our lab web page to learn more about the people in our lab and our current projects.

We are actively seeking new graduate students, so if you are interested in finding out more about our research – please contact Dr. Weake (

Selected Publications

Chen, X., Hall, H., Simpson, J. P., Leon-Salas, W., Ready, D. F., & Weake, V. M. (2017). Cytochrome b5 Protects Photoreceptors from Light Stress-Induced Lipid Peroxidation and Retinal Degeneration. NPJ Aging and Mechanisms of Disease, 3, 18. doi:10.1038/s41514-017-0019-6

Stegeman, R., Spreacker, P. J., Swanson, S. K., Stephenson, R. E., Florens, L., Washburn, M. P., & Weake, V. M. (2016). The Spliceosomal Protein SF3B5 is a Novel Component of Drosophila SAGA that Functions in Gene Expression Independent of Splicing. Journal of Molecular Biology, 428(18), 3632-49. doi:10.1016/j.jmb.2016.05.009

Stegeman, R., & Weake, V. M. (2017). Transcriptional Signatures of Aging. Journal of molecular biology, 429(16), 2427-2437. doi:10.1016/j.jmb.2017.06.019

Stephenson, R. E., Hosler, M. R., Gavande, N. S., Ghosh, A. K., & Weake, V. M. (2015). Characterization of a Drosophila ortholog of the Cdc7 kinase: a role for Cdc7 in endoreplication independent of Chiffon. The Journal of biological chemistry, 290(3), 1332-47. doi:10.1074/jbc.M114.597948

Ma, J., & Weake, V. M. (2014). Affinity-based isolation of tagged nuclei from Drosophila tissues for gene expression analysis. Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE, (85). doi:10.3791/51418

Mohan, R. D., Dialynas, G., Weake, V. M., Liu, J., Martin-Brown, S., Florens, L., . . . Abmayr, S. M. (2014). Loss of Drosophila Ataxin-7, a SAGA subunit, reduces H2B ubiquitination and leads to neural and retinal degeneration. Genes & development, 28(3), 259-72. doi:10.1101/gad.225151.113

Weake, V. M., Dyer, J. O., Seidel, C., Box, A., Swanson, S. K., Peak, A., . . . Workman, J. L. (2011). Post-transcription initiation function of the ubiquitous SAGA complex in tissue-specific gene activation. Genes & development, 25(14), 1499-509. doi:10.1101/gad.2046211

Weake, V. M., Swanson, S. K., Mushegian, A., Florens, L., Washburn, M. P., Abmayr, S. M., & Workman, J. L. (2009). A novel histone fold domain-containing protein that replaces TAF6 in Drosophila SAGA is required for SAGA-dependent gene expression. Genes & development, 23(24), 2818-23. doi:10.1101/gad.1846409

Weake, V. M., & Workman, J. L. (2008). Histone ubiquitination: triggering gene activity. Molecular Cell, 29(6), 653-63. doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2008.02.014

Weake, V. M., Lee, K. K., Guelman, S., Lin, C. H., Seidel, C., Abmayr, S. M., & Workman, J. L. (2008). SAGA-mediated H2B deubiquitination controls the development of neuronal connectivity in the Drosophila visual system. The EMBO journal, 27(2), 394-405. doi:10.1038/sj.emboj.7601966

Awards & Honors

(2005) Top Achiever Doctoral Scholarship. Foundation for Research, Science & Technology.

Department of Biochemistry, 175 South University Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2063 USA, (765) 494-1600

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