Research Associates/PDFs

Dr. Erin Gilchrist

Ph.D. Genetics (1993), University of British Columbia; B.Sc. Biology (1986), University of British Columbia; B.A. Political Science (1982), Dalhousie University.

I have been a Research Associate with the Canadian TILLING Facility (CAN-TILL) under the direction of Dr. George Haughn since January 2002.My research for the past 13 years has focused on genetics, molecular biology and functional genomics in model systems. I am interested in finding ways of addressing basic biological hypotheses that arise from the interpretation of genomic sequence data. I believe that one of the best ways of investigating this is through reverse genetics, and I have been working to develop and implement high-throughput technologies for this purpose in different organisms. Recently, I have also become interested in using these techniques to examine natural variation in populations at the genomic level.

Dr. Gillian Dean

B.Sc. (Hons) 1999: Durham University, UK
Ph.D. Plant Molecular Biology 2003: Durham University, UK

I first joined the Haughn lab in 2003 as a Post Doctoral Fellow, where I cloned and characterised the MUM2 gene, a β-galactosidase involved in seed coat mucilage modification.  I continued as a Research Associate, and contributed to a project that completed profiling of gene expression in developing Arabidopsis seeds. From 2008 until 2012 I had a sojourn in Indonesia, where I worked on DNA barcoding of tropical plants and the biogeography of Eucalyptus deglupta. I returned to Vancouver in February 2012 and joined the Haughn and Kunst labs as Research Associate where I am looking the links between seed coat development and seed oil accumulation in Arabidopsis and the industrial oilseed crop Camelina sativa.

Dr. Allen Tsai

B.Sc. Molecular Genetics and Microbiology (2007) University of Toronto
Ph.D. Cell and Systems Biology (2013) University of Toronto

I began my post-doctoral work in UBC in January 2013 as part of the NSERC CREATE program Working on Walls (WoW) co-supervised by Dr. George Haughn and Dr. Brian Ellis. My works focuses on the proteins involved in the structure and synthesis of the seed coat mucilage. Despite the seed coat mucilage being a useful model to study cell wall, very little is known about what proteins are actually present in the mucilage. One particular protein of interest is SALT OVERLY-SENSITIVE 5 (SOS5), an arabinogalactan protein implied to play a crucial role in mucilage adherence. Currently I’m working on isolation and characterization of proteins in the mucilage, including SOS5, in order to understand how they contribute to the structural properties of the mucilage.

Dr. Tadashi Kunieda

Tadashi cropped

B.Sc. (2003) Shizuoka University
M.Sc. (2005) Shizuoka University
D. Sc. (2008) Kyoto University

I joined the Haughn lab in April, 2014 as an Honorary Research Associate supported by the fellowship program (Postdoctral Fellowships for Research Abroad) of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). I am interested in the endomembrane trafficking machinery for plant cell wall formation. To study the molecular mechanism underlying secretion of pectin polysaccharides, which is one of main components of cell wall, I am focusing on seed coat mucilage of Arabidopsis thaliana, because the mucilage can be easily analyzed using genetics, cell biology and biochemistry. Currently, I am working on functional analysis of factors, which impact secretion and/or modification of the mucilage via the endomembrane system.