Positions

Overview

  • Dr. Riddle obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri in Columbia, carrying out research in a maize lab. During her graduate work at Washington University in St. Louis, she first learned about epigenetics, a research field that focuses on heritable changes in phenotypes that are not associated with changes in the DNA. At the time, epigenetics was poorly understood, and her fascination with this field has grown with the scientific community‚Äôs increasing appreciation for the influence of epigenetics on other aspects of biology.

    In her scientific career, Dr. Riddle has studied various aspects of epigenetics in plants and animals. Her lab at UAB utilizes a classical genetics model system, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, to study various open questions in the area of epigenetics and chromatin.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2020 GWAS reveal a role for the central nervous system in regulating weight and weight change in response to exercise 2020
    2020 The Drosophila HP1 family is associated with active gene expression across chromatin contexts 2020
    2019 Drosophila melanogaster, a new model for exercise research 2019
    2018 Genetic networks underlying natural variation in basal and induced activity levels in Drosophila melanogaster 2018
    2018 HP1B is a euchromatic Drosophila HP1 homolog with links to metabolism 2018
    2017 The role of epigenetics in maintaining genome stabilityBiochemist.  39:12-15. 2017
    2009 A lot about a little dot - Lessons learned from Drosophila melanogaster chromosome 4Biochemistry and Cell Biology.  87:229-241. 2009
    2008 A role for RNAi in heterochromatin formation in DrosophilaCurrent Topics in Microbiology and Immunology.  320:185-209. 2008
    2007 Localization and transcription of a retrotransposon-derived element on the maize B chromosome 2007
    2006 The dot chromosome of Drosophila: Insights into chromatin states and their change over evolutionary time 2006
    2004 Induced and natural epigenetic variation 2004

    Chapter

    Year Title Altmetric
    2016 The Evolution of New Technologies and Methods in Clinical Epigenetics Research.  67-89. 2016
    2015 Interindividual Variability of DNA Methylation.  17-53. 2015
    2015 Epigenetic inheritance.  183-208. 2015
    2014 Heritable Generational Epigenetic Effects through RNA.  105-119. 2014

    Research Overview

  • My research focuses on understanding the mechanisms establishing and regulating epigenetic information, and how epigenetic systems ultimately contribute to gene regulation, disease, and other phenotypes. In addition to the genetic information encoded within the DNA, other forms of information exist in the cell. Epigenetic information is heritable, affects gene expression states and phenotypes, but is independent of DNA sequence. Examples of epigenetic systems include DNA methylation, histone modifications, and chromatin structure. These epigenetic systems play vital roles in gene regulation, and defects in epigenetic regulation have been implicated in a variety of human diseases including cancer. My lab uses the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model system to investigate epigenetic systems and their influence on development and gene regulation. Currently, there are three on-going projects in the lab:

    The HP1 protein family: Heterochromatin protein 1a (HP1a) was discovered as the first heterochromatin-associated protein. Its binding characterizes the heterochromatic regions of the fly genome, and homologs have been identified in species ranging from yeast to humans. The HP1a protein contains two conserved domains, the chromo domain, and the chromo-shadow domain. Based on this domain structure, four additional HP1 family proteins have been identified in Drosophila melanogaster. Of these, HP1B and HP1C, like HP1a, are ubiquitously expressed, while HP1D/RHINO and HP1E are restricted to the germline in females and males respectively. While HP1a binds large domains in heterochromatin, it also shows binding to active transcription start sites, where it is generally found in the company of HP1B and/or HP1C. We are using molecular genetic and genomics approaches to understand the relationship between HP1a, HP1B, and HP1C, and their effect on gene regulation.
    The role of epigenetics in exercise response: Exercise is a common form of treatment recommended to combat the increasing obesity problem observed in many countries. How individuals respond to exercise is highly variable, and the source of this variation is not well understood. We are using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model for exercise biology. Taking advantage of the genetics resources available in Drosophila, our experiments are designed to determine the relative importance of genetics and epigenetics in generating the variability in exercise response.
    The regulation of H3K9 methylation: H3K9 methylation is a histone mark generally associated with silent regions of the genome and heterochromatin. In many eukaryotes including Drosophila, H3K9 methylation is generated by three classes of SET domain containing histone methyltransferases. In Drosophila, the action of SU(VAR)3-9, EGG, and G9a produces the genome-wide H3K9 methylation patters. However, how the three enzymes are coordinated and what their individual roles are is poorly understood. We are using molecular genetic, biochemical, and genomics approaches to answer these questions.

    Epigenetics and chromatin
  • Teaching Activities

  • BY698 - Nonthesis Research (Summer Term 2021) 2021
  • BY799 - Dissertation Research (Summer Term 2021) 2021
  • BY437 - Epigenetics (Spring Term 2021) 2021
  • BY780 - Epigenetics Discussion (Spring Term 2021) 2021
  • BY799 - Dissertation Research (Spring Term 2021) 2021
  • GBSC713 - JC- Epigenetics (Spring Term 2021) 2021
  • BY437 - Epigenetics (Fall Term 2020) 2020
  • BY637 - Epigenetics (Fall Term 2020) 2020
  • BY689 - Colloquium in Genetics (Fall Term 2020) 2020
  • BY698 - Nonthesis Research (Fall Term 2020) 2020
  • BY737 - Epigenetics (Fall Term 2020) 2020
  • BY799 - Dissertation Research (Fall Term 2020) 2020
  • GBSC713 - JC- Epigenetics (Fall Term 2020) 2020
  • BY597 - Investigative Techniques (Summer Term 2020) 2020
  • BY697 - Investigative Techniques (Summer Term 2020) 2020
  • BY797 - Investigative Techniques (Summer Term 2020) 2020
  • BY798 - Nondissertation Research (Summer Term 2020) 2020
  • BY437 - Epigenetics (Spring Term 2020) 2020
  • BY637 - Epigenetics (Spring Term 2020) 2020
  • BY689 - Colloquium in Genetics (Spring Term 2020) 2020
  • BY737 - Epigenetics (Spring Term 2020) 2020
  • BY789 - Colloquium in Genetics (Spring Term 2020) 2020
  • BY798 - Nondissertation Research (Spring Term 2020) 2020
  • GBSC713 - Epigenetics Discussion (Spring Term 2020) 2020
  • BY210 - Genetics (Fall Term 2019) 2019
  • BY501 - Genetics for Teachers (Fall Term 2019) 2019
  • BY798 - Nondissertation Research (Fall Term 2019) 2019
  • GBSC713 - Epigenetics Discussion (Fall Term 2019) 2019
  • BY495 - Special Topics in Biology (Summer Term 2019) 2019
  • BY696 - Special Topics in Biology II (Summer Term 2019) 2019
  • BY798 - Nondissertation Research (Summer Term 2019) 2019
  • BY437 - Epigenetics (Spring Term 2019) 2019
  • BY637 - Epigenetics (Spring Term 2019) 2019
  • BY737 - Epigenetics (Spring Term 2019) 2019
  • BY798 - Nondissertation Research (Spring Term 2019) 2019
  • BY799 - Dissertation Research (Spring Term 2019) 2019
  • GBSC713 - Epigenetics Discussion (Spring Term 2019) 2019
  • BY437 - Epigenetics (Fall Term 2018) 2018
  • BY637 - Epigenetics (Fall Term 2018) 2018
  • BY737 - Epigenetics (Fall Term 2018) 2018
  • BY799 - Dissertation Research (Fall Term 2018) 2018
  • GBSC713 - Epigenetics Discussion (Fall Term 2018) 2018
  • BY495 - Special Topics in Biology (Summer Term 2018) 2018
  • BY698 - Nonthesis Research (Summer Term 2018) 2018
  • BY798 - Nondissertation Research (Summer Term 2018) 2018
  • BY799 - Dissertation Research (Summer Term 2018) 2018
  • BY398 - Undergrad Research - RES (Spring Term 2018) 2018
  • BY689 - Seminar in Genetics (Spring Term 2018) 2018
  • BY696 - Special Topics in Biology II (Spring Term 2018) 2018
  • BY698 - Nonthesis Research (Spring Term 2018) 2018
  • BY798 - Nondissertation Research (Spring Term 2018) 2018
  • BY799 - Dissertation Research (Spring Term 2018) 2018
  • GBSC713 - Epigenetics Discussion (Spring Term 2018) 2018
  • BY398 - Undergrad Research - RES (Fall Term 2017) 2017
  • BY437 - Epigenetics (Fall Term 2017) 2017
  • BY637 - Epigenetics (Fall Term 2017) 2017
  • BY737 - Epigenetics (Fall Term 2017) 2017
  • BY798 - Nondissertation Research (Fall Term 2017) 2017
  • BY799 - Dissertation Research (Fall Term 2017) 2017
  • GBSC713 - Epigenetics Discussion (Fall Term 2017) 2017
  • BY495 - Special Topics in Biology (Summer Term 2017) 2017
  • BY698 - Nonthesis Research (Summer Term 2017) 2017
  • BY798 - Nondissertation Research (Summer Term 2017) 2017
  • BY210 - Genetics (Spring Term 2017) 2017
  • BY398 - Undergrad Research - RES (Spring Term 2017) 2017
  • BY501 - Genetics for Teachers (Spring Term 2017) 2017
  • BY798 - Nondissertation Research (Spring Term 2017) 2017
  • BY799 - Dissertation Research (Spring Term 2017) 2017
  • GBSC713 - Epigenetics Discussion (Spring Term 2017) 2017
  • BY398 - Undergrad Research - RES (Fall Term 2016) 2016
  • BY437 - Epigenetics (Fall Term 2016) 2016
  • BY637 - Epigenetics (Fall Term 2016) 2016
  • BY737 - Epigenetics (Fall Term 2016) 2016
  • BY798 - Nondissertation Research (Fall Term 2016) 2016
  • BY799 - Dissertation Research (Fall Term 2016) 2016
  • GBSC713 - Epigenetics Discussion (Fall Term 2016) 2016
  • BY495 - Special Topics in Biology (Summer Term 2016) 2016
  • BY699 - Thesis Research (Summer Term 2016) 2016
  • BY798 - Nondissertation Research (Summer Term 2016) 2016
  • BY398 - Undergrad Research - RES (Spring Term 2016) 2016
  • BY798 - Nondissertation Research (Spring Term 2016) 2016
  • BY210 - Genetics (Fall Term 2015) 2015
  • BY397 - Advanced Directed Readings (Fall Term 2015) 2015
  • BY501 - Genetics for Teachers (Fall Term 2015) 2015
  • BY696 - Special Topics in Biology II (Fall Term 2015) 2015
  • BY698 - Nonthesis Research (Fall Term 2015) 2015
  • BY798 - Nondissertation Research (Fall Term 2015) 2015
  • BY210 - Genetics (Summer Term 2015) 2015
  • BY501 - Genetics for Teachers (Summer Term 2015) 2015
  • BY698 - Nonthesis Research (Summer Term 2015) 2015
  • BY798 - Nondissertation Research (Summer Term 2015) 2015
  • BY398 - Undergrad Research - RES (Spring Term 2015) 2015
  • BY437 - Epigenetics (Spring Term 2015) 2015
  • BY637 - Epigenetics (Spring Term 2015) 2015
  • BY698 - Nonthesis Research (Spring Term 2015) 2015
  • BY798 - Nondissertation Research (Spring Term 2015) 2015
  • BY398 - Undergrad Research - RES (Fall Term 2014) 2014
  • BY695 - Special Topics in Biology I (Fall Term 2014) 2014
  • BY698 - Nonthesis Research (Fall Term 2014) 2014
  • BY798 - Nondissertation Research (Fall Term 2014) 2014
  • BY437 - Epigenetics (Summer Term 2014) 2014
  • BY637 - Epigenetics (Summer Term 2014) 2014
  • BY698 - Nonthesis Research (Summer Term 2014) 2014
  • BY737 - Epigenetics (Summer Term 2014) 2014
  • BY437 - Epigenetics (Spring Term 2014) 2014
  • BY637 - Epigenetics (Spring Term 2014) 2014
  • BY698 - Nonthesis Research (Spring Term 2014) 2014
  • BY737 - Epigenetics (Spring Term 2014) 2014
  • BY798 - Nondissertation Research (Spring Term 2014) 2014
  • BY210 - Genetics (Fall Term 2013) 2013
  • BY501 - Genetics for Teachers (Fall Term 2013) 2013
  • BY695 - Special Topics in Biology I (Fall Term 2013) 2013
  • BY698 - Nonthesis Research (Fall Term 2013) 2013
  • GBS747 - Special Topics (Fall Term 2013) 2013
  • BY495 - Special Topics in Biology (Spring Term 2013) 2013
  • BY695 - Special Topics in Biology I (Spring Term 2013) 2013
  • BY795 - Special Topics in Biology I (Spring Term 2013) 2013
  • Education And Training

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Evolutionary Biology, Washington University/St. Louis 2002
  • Full Name

  • Nicole Riddle