URSA Engage Program 2013
Position Descriptions for Students to Apply For


Faculty Name & Department/School: Dr. Michael Freitag, Biochemistry/Biophysics


Research Project Title: Regulation of Secondary Metabolite Expression by Chromatin Structure


Project Overview: 

Large gene clusters in filamentous fungi are regulated by the underlying chromatin structure, a combination of DNA, proteins and RNA. We wish to determine how genes within secondary metabolite clusters are silenced or expressed as a consequence of posttranslational modifications on histone proteins. To this end we generate mutants, make gene deletion constructs and carry out protein complex isolations. The long-term goal is to generate a regulatory network that explains how large chromatin regions are coordinately silenced or expressed.



What skills will students obtain in this project? 

Introduction to current molecular biology (PCR, cloning, site-directed mutagenesis, transformation, gene-targeting), biochemical (SDS-PAGE, protein purification by affinity chromatography) and cytological (microscopy with fluorescently labeled proteins) techniques.

            Introduction to fungal genetics (genotyping and phenotyping, haploid Mendelian genetics).

            Introduction to high-throughput sequencing methods (library construction and data analyses).


Student research tasks: 

The successfully candidate will assist with generation of constructs to decipher the control and function of histone H3 methylation.


Specific responsibilities include:

Upkeep of laboratory stocks (media, buffers).

Genotyping of strains by PCR

Generation of deletion mutants or tagged strains by transformation

            Maintenance of strains

Strain database management


attention to detail

good organizational skills

good inter-personal skills


biochemistry or microbiology students



Period of work - Spring and Fall


Number of hours per week expected of student:   10-15 hrs in three large blocks  


Preferred Faculty Contact Information: email: freitagm@onid.orst.edu

(note - applications are NOT sent to mentors - see instructions)

q Yes    X  No:   Human Subjects 

q Yes    X  No:   Live Vertebrate Animals

X Yes    q  No:   Recombinant DNA Molecules Transgenic Plants or Animal, and/or Infectious Agents of Plants, Animals, or Humans

q Yes    X  No:   Ionizing Radiation

X Yes    q  No:   Chemical Carcinogens

q Yes    X  No:   Scuba Diving, Free Diving

q Yes    X  No:   Small Boating Operations


Approval Number(s) from above, if relevant ________IBC #0912__________

If you are interested in applying for this position, you MUST complete the student application HERE and email it to Dr. Kevin Ahern at ahernk@onid.orst.edu

Do NOT email your application to the faculty mentor.