Published: July 21, 2021

Assistant Professor in Integrative Biology Greg Ragland recently received an NSF CAREER award. The grant, titled, “Beyond differential expression: quantifying transcriptional dynamics and testing for adaptive value of transcriptomic responses at low temperature,” will be a comparative physiology study of transcription temperature in flies from different regions. At present, the transcriptional dynamics regulating transcriptomic environmental responses remain largely unknown. This research will compare profiles of newly formed transcripts during low temperature exposures among replicate temperate- and tropical-origin- Drosophila species. Additionally, the funding will allow Ragland to collaborate with a postdoc and graduate students to create lab exercises that allow undergraduates to test the roles of individual genes in thermal adaptation. This Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) will integrate with ongoing efforts at CU Denver to improve outcomes for underrepresented groups and increase their representation in STEM fields while generating a database of transparently reported results that will contribute to candidate gene testing in the field of thermal biology.