Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Colorado Boulder (2018)
  • Bachelor of Science, University of Maryland College Park (2012)


All Publications

  • Release of Human TFIIB from Actively Transcribing Complexes Is Triggered upon Synthesis of 7-and 9-nt RNAs JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY Ly, E., Powell, A. E., Goodrich, J. A., Kugel, J. F. 2020; 432 (14): 4049?60


    RNA polymerase II (Pol II) and its general transcription factors assemble on the promoters of mRNA genes to form large macromolecular complexes that initiate transcription in a regulated manner. During early transcription, these complexes undergo dynamic rearrangement and disassembly as Pol II moves away from the start site of transcription and transitions into elongation. One step in disassembly is the release of the general transcription factor TFIIB, although the mechanism of release and its relationship to the activity of transcribing Pol II is not understood. We developed a single-molecule fluorescence transcription system to investigate TFIIB release in vitro. Leveraging our ability to distinguish active from inactive complexes, we found that nearly all transcriptionally active complexes release TFIIB during early transcription. Release is not dependent on the contacts TFIIB makes with its recognition element in promoter DNA. We identified two different points in early transcription at which release is triggered, reflecting heterogeneity across the population of actively transcribing complexes. TFIIB releases after both trigger points with similar kinetics, suggesting the rate of release is independent of the molecular transformations that prompt release. Together our data support the model that TFIIB release is important for Pol II to successfully escape the promoter as initiating complexes transition into elongation complexes.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jmb.2020.05.005

    View details for Web of Science ID 000543017000007

    View details for PubMedID 32417370

  • Human B cell clonal expansion and convergent antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2. bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology Nielsen, S. C., Yang, F., Jackson, K. J., Hoh, R. A., Röltgen, K., Stevens, B., Lee, J. Y., Rustagi, A., Rogers, A. J., Powell, A. E., Najeeb, J., Otrelo-Cardoso, A. R., Yost, K. E., Daniel, B., Chang, H. Y., Satpathy, A. T., Jardetzky, T. S., Kim, P. S., Wang, T. T., Pinsky, B. A., Blish, C. A., Boyd, S. D. 2020


    During virus infection B cells are critical for the production of antibodies and protective immunity. Here we show that the human B cell compartment in patients with diagnostically confirmed SARS-CoV-2 and clinical COVID-19 is rapidly altered with the early recruitment of B cells expressing a limited subset of IGHV genes, progressing to a highly polyclonal response of B cells with broader IGHV gene usage and extensive class switching to IgG and IgA subclasses with limited somatic hypermutation in the initial weeks of infection. We identify extensive convergence of antibody sequences across SARS-CoV-2 patients, highlighting stereotyped naïve responses to this virus. Notably, sequence-based detection in COVID-19 patients of convergent B cell clonotypes previously reported in SARS-CoV infection predicts the presence of SARS-CoV/SARS-CoV-2 cross-reactive antibody titers specific for the receptor-binding domain. These findings offer molecular insights into shared features of human B cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 and other zoonotic spillover coronaviruses.

    View details for DOI 10.1101/2020.07.08.194456

    View details for PubMedID 32676593

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7359515

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