Speakers: R. Keith Slotkin, PhD

Keith Slotkin, PhD

Associate Member and Principal Investigator, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Associate Professor, Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia

Dr. Slotkin studies how genomic parasites called Transposable Elements are identified and targeted for repression. The goal of his work is to control the process of ‘epigenetic silencing’, targeting the process of heritable repression towards or away from specific regions of the genome. Rather than investigating one transposable element, the Slotkin laboratory investigates regulation on a whole-genome level. This genomics-level view of is often complicated due to the repetitive nature of transposable elements, which generate very few perfectly matching sequence reads. Therefore, the Slotkin laboratory has specialized in approaches to investigate multi-matching sequence reads. More recently, the Slotkin laboratory has utilized the filtered-out ‘trashed’ reads to investigate transposable element mobility (activity) reusing hundreds of previously-published datasets.