Davis, Jessica

Jessica is in the Biochemistry, Molecular and Structural Biology graduate program.  She joined the CMB training program in 2015.  Her research mentor is Dr. Sri Kosuri.  She received a B.S. degree in 2014 from UC Santa Barbara.

Mentor: Dr. Sriram Kosuri

Research project:

There is an incomplete picture of how the activities of cis-regulatory elements, such as transcription factor binding sites (TFBSs), combine to direct the transcription of a single gene. The differential organization of these binding sites in promoters and enhancers is vast and varies according to: placement, number of sites, combination of other binding sites and binding strength. I employ a massively parallel reporter assay to test how some of these TFBS variables combine to determine the regulatory strength of a proximal promoter. Using binding sites for a model transcription factor, CREB protein, I systematically test variables in isolation and in combination across active cellular CREB protein levels. I assay regulatory variants en masse and use next-gen sequencing to determine gene expression driven by these regulatory variants. By isolating the effects of TFBS architecture in designed regulatory elements, I hope to understand how the organization of TFBSs in more complex and natural regions culminate to drive observed transcription levels.