Ciliary length and regulation are dictated by intraflagellar transport (IFT) which transports building materials into cilia to regulate assembly. Recent research has revealed multiple molecular targets in the Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) pathway that regulate ciliary length in many different types of cells from photoreceptors to C. elegans sensory neuron cilia. However, the mechanism that connects how MAPK regulates this function is unclear. Previously, our lab has found that BCI, [(E)-2-benzylidine-3-(cyclohexylamino)-2,3-dihydro-1H-inden-1-one], a vertebrate MAP Kinase Phosphatase 3 inhibitor, increases phosphorylated MAPK, shortens flagella, and prevents regeneration of full-length flagella in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The goal of my research project is to use BCI to identify more molecular targets in the MAPK pathway and ultimately put together a mechanism for its relation to ciliary length regulation.

Career Status:
Graduate Student

Research Areas:
Cell Biology, Systems Biology, Molecular Biology, Genetics, Gene Regulation, Growth Regulation, Signals and Responses, Applied Plant Biology


Huang S, Dougherty LL, Avasthi P. Separable roles for RanGTP in nuclear and ciliary trafficking of a kinesin-2 subunit. J Biol Chem. 2020 Nov 24:jbc.RA119.010936. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA119.010936. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33234597. 

Martin TA, Wu T, Tang Q, Dougherty LL, Parente DJ, Swint-Kruse L, Fenton AW. Identification of biochemically neutral positions in liver pyruvate kinase. Proteins. 2020 Oct;88(10):1340-1350. doi: 10.1002/prot.25953. Epub 2020 Jun 27. PMID: 32449829. 

Hodges AM, Fenton AW, Dougherty LL, Overholt AC, Swint-Kruse L. RheoScale: A tool to aggregate and quantify experimentally determined substitution outcomes for multiple variants at individual protein positions. Hum Mutat. 2018 Dec;39(12):1814-1826. doi: 10.1002/humu.23616. Epub 2018 Aug 28. PMID: 30117637; PMCID: PMC6602090.

Volunteer Activities

Companion at Camp Quality Greater Kansas City

Current Affiliations
Experience & Education