Barbara J. Trask
Ph.D., University of Leiden, Biology/Medicine, 1985.
M.S., Purdue University, Biology, 1977.
B.S., Purdue University, Wildlife Ecology, 1975.
The Trask group studies large-scale facets of genome organization. Our work relies on use of molecular cytogenetics and computational genomics. Two experimental techniques, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), a means of fluorescently tagging specific DNA sequences in chromosomes or nuclei, and flow cytometry, a technology for isolating specific chromosomes for molecular analyses based on their DNA content, are used often in our research.
The structure, function, and evolution of some of the more complex and variable regions of the human genome are under investigation. One project focuses on the subtelomeric regions of human chromosomes. These regions are a patchwork of sequence-blocks that are duplicated near the ends of multiple chromosomes. They exhibit remarkable polymorphism: the number and location of large blocks can vary among individuals. Because these segments can contain genes, the compositional variability of subtelomeric DNA may have phenotypic consequences. A combination of molecular and cytogenetic techniques is currently being used to unravel the structure, evolution, and function of these highly dynamic regions of the genome. We have also recently embarked on a study of the epigenetic characteristics of subtelomeres, with a particular focus on the molecular defect results in facioscapulohumeral dystrophy (FSHD) and the regulation of WASH, a subtelomere gene involved in actin organization.
We are also studying the large and complex duplications encompassing members of the olfactory receptor gene family. Members of this large gene family are distributed over 40 sites in the human genome, yet each sensory neuron expresses only one gene. In order to determine how the expressed repertoire of olfactory receptors has evolved and is regulated, we are analyzing the genomic organization and function of these genes in mouse and man.
Finally, we are applying new cytogenetic technologies to study the DNA lost and gained as cancer cells develop the capacity to metastasize. This work involves development of CGH arrays and collaboration with several oncology research groups.
(Reading, Writing, Speaking)
English: (Fluent, Fluent, Fluent)
Dutch: (Fluent, Basic, Fluent)
French: (Basic, None, None)
2000-2000, Acting Chair, University of Washington, School of Medicine, Molecular Biotechnology
1997-2006, Adjunct Professor, University of Washington, School of Medicine, Bioengineering
1997-2001, Professor, University of Washington, School of Medicine, Molecular Biotechnology
1997-2001, Adjunct Professor, University of Washington, College of Arts and Sciences, Genetics
1993-1997, Adjunct Research Professor, University of Washington, School of Medicine, Bioengineering
1993-1997, Research Professor, University of Washington, School of Medicine, Molecular Biotechnology
1985-1992, Senior Biomedical Scientist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Biomedical Sciences
1983-1985, Research Scientist, Radiobiological Institute TNO
1983-1983, Visiting Scientist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
1982-1983, Visiting Scientist, Los Alamos National Laboratory
1979-1982, Research Scientist, Radiobiological Institute TNO
1975-1975, Research Assistant, Purdue University, Science, Biological Sciences
Chimpanzee and human Y chromosomes are remarkably divergent in structure and gene content.. Nature. 463(7280):536-9.. 2010.
Extreme variability among mammalian V1R gene families.. Genome research. 20(1):10-8.. 2010.
Comparative sequence analysis of primate subtelomeres originating from a chromosome fission event.. Genome research. 19(1):33-41.. 2009.
Tissue-specific variation in DNA methylation levels along human chromosome 1.. Epigenetics & chromatin. 2(1):7.. 2009.
Genomic alterations indicate tumor origin and varied metastatic potential of disseminated cells from prostate cancer patients.. Cancer research. 68(14):5599-608.. 2008.
Extensive copy-number variation of the human olfactory receptor gene family.. American journal of human genetics. 83(2):228-42.. 2008.
A sequence-based survey of the complex structural organization of tumor genomes.. Genome biology. 9(3):R59.. 2008.