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K-State Today

March 1, 2019

Gregory Finnigan to present Anatomy and Physiology Seminar

Submitted by Gail Eyestone

Gregory Finnigan, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics, is the featured speaker for the Tuesday, March 5, Anatomy and Physiology Seminar. He will present "CRISPR/Cas gene drives in budding yeast: Novel designs, biosafety, and applications for population control" at 4 p.m. in the Mara Conference Center, 407 Trotter Hall. 

Finnigan's laboratory uses advanced molecular biology techniques, genetics and live cell imaging to study a highly conserved cytoskeletal element in eukaryotes — the septin proteins — in the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae. He is interested in understanding how to utilize the CRISPR/Cas9 technology both to aid in his study of the septin proteins, but also to develop novel technologies and uses for Cas9-mediated gene editing that will be applicable to any biological system.

Finnigan earned his doctorate at the University of Oregon in the Institute of Molecular Biology with Tom Stevens. During his graduate work, he studied how the large multisubunit ATPase complex is assembled, trafficked, and regulated on the vacuole (lysosome) membrane to acidify internal compartments and organelles. In collaboration with the lab of Joe Thornton, they studied the molecular evolution of several duplicated subunits of the V-ATPase enzyme by using a computation method termed "ancestral gene resurrection."