Daniel S. Park was a research associate from 2015 to 2016. He was mentored by Dr. Ryan Tewhey and worked on identifying and validating non-coding variants that modulate gene expression. He and other lab members had conducted a massively parallel reporter assay (MPRA) to identify GWAS-associated variants that influenced gene expression. His key accomplishment was functionally validating one of the noncoding expression modulating variants identified by the MPRA project. Using CRISPR editing in human B cells, he was able to show that changing a single nucleotide to the risk allele for ankylosing spondylitis increased expression of the prostaglandin EP4 receptor. This provided direct evidence of a noncoding variant altering gene expression, and illustrated the promise of the MPRA approach for interrogating the noncoding genome.
He is currently an MD/PhD candidate at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. His PhD research in the lab of Dr. Eric Joyce uses high-throughput image-based screens to identify novel chromosome folding factors. He is supported by a Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Fellowship (F30) from NICHD.
“Pardis is a brilliant, supportive, and grounded mentor who truly wishes for each member of her group to succeed. The collaborative nature of the lab pushed me to develop scientifically and allowed me to enjoy the relationships that I built.”