Johns Hopkins University
Anna received her B.S. in Biology and Environmental Studies from George Washington University in 2001, and her Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University in the Department of Biology in 2007. Her Ph.D. research was on the affects of a specific nuclear hormone receptor (HR39) in reproduction and sperm storage in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, and was conducted under the guidance of Dr. Allan Spradling at the Carnegie Institution for Science- Department of Embryology. She then completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Andy Golden at the National Institutes of Health, where she continued to follow her interests in reproduction by studying a conserved cell cycle regulator, WEE-1.3, involved in C. elegans meiosis and oocyte maturation. In Fall of 2012, she left her post-doc at NIH to take an assistant professor position at Howard University in Washington, DC. At Howard University, she teaches Developmental Biology (BIOL243) and Genetics (BIOL200). In the past, she has been involved in Topics in Anatomy & Physiology (BIOL501) and General Biology (BIOL101).
Johns Hopkins University
Biology and Environmental Studies
George Washington University
Currently Active Research Funding:Department of Defense Research Award (2018-2022)Completed Research Funding:National Institutes of Health R15 Award (2016 - 2021)DOD Major Research Instrumentation - Spinning Disk Confocal Microscope (2013)
Research summaryThe overall goal of the Allen lab is to study the mechanisms by which a high quality gamete (the egg) is generated and how that gamete then undergoes one of the most fascinating process in development, fertilization. We use the nematode C. elegans as a model system to study two specific aspects of meiosis: 1) oocyte meiotic arrest and 2) oocyte maturation. To address these issues, we are taking an interdisciplinary approach involving genetics, molecular biology, cytological and biochemical techniques to study C. elegans meiosis. Currently the lab is working on studying the role of an RNA-binding protein (ETR-1) in oogenesis and also on elucidating a potential non-canonical, non-proteolytic role for subunits of the proteasome in reproduction. Lab PersonnelLourds Michelle Fernando (graduate student)Benedict Quagraine (gradute student)Caroline Ugoaru (undergraduate student)Jeandele Elliot (undergraduate student)
Fernando, L.M., Golliday, K., Boateng, R. and Allen, A.K. Comparison of N- and C-terminally endogenously GFP-tagged WEE-1.3 strains in C. elegans. microPublication Biology. January 2021. https://doi.org/10.17912/micropub.biology.000353
Fernando, L.M., Elliot, J. and Allen, A.K. The Caenorhabditis elegans proteasome subunit RPN-12 is required for hermaphrodite germline sex determination and oocyte quality. Developmental Dynamics. Accepted 31 July 2020.
Fernando, L.M., Nguyen, V., Hansen, T., Golden, A., and Allen, A.K. Loss of proteasome subunit RPN-12 causes an increased mean lifespan at a higher temperature in C. elegans. microPublication Biology. April 2020. https://doi.org/10.17912/micropub.biology.000234.
Lopatto, D., Rosenwald, A.G., DiAngelo, J.R., Hark, A.T., Skerritt, M., Waersik, M., Allen, A.K., et al. Facilitating Growth through Frustration: Using Genomics Research in a Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education. Vol. 21, No. 1, 2020.
Tootle, T.L., Hoffman, D., Allen, A.K., Spracklen, A., Groen, C., and D. Keplsh. Mini-course based undergraduate research experience: Impact on student understanding of STEM research and interest in STEM programs. Journal of College Science Teaching. Accepted November 2018.
Boateng, R. and Allen, A.K. New Role for an Old Protein: An Educational Primer for Use with “The Identification of a Novel Mutant Allele of topoisomerase II in Caenorhabditis elegans Reveals a Unique Role in Chromosome Segregation During Spermatogenesis” Genetics 2018 Jan 208 (1), 79-88.
Elgin, S.C., Hauser C., Holzen, T.M., Jones, C., Kleinschmit A., Leatherman, J., and Genomics Education Partnership*. The GEP: Crowd-Sourcing Big Data Analysis with Undergraduates. Trends Genet. Epub December 6th, 2016. (Dr. Allen is part of the GEP)
Allen, A.K., Nesmith, J.E. and Golden A. An RNAi-based suppressor screen for interactors of the Myt1 ortholog of C. elegans. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics 2014 December 4(12), 2329-2343
Boateng R, Nguyen KCQ, Hall DH, Golden A, Allen AK. Novel functions for the RNA-binding protein ETR-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans reproduction and engulfment of germline apoptotic cell corpses. Dev Biol. 2017 Sep 1;429(1):306-320
Shakes, D.C., Allen, A.K., Albert, K.M., and Golden, A. emb-1 encodes the APC16 subunit of the Caenorhabditis elegans Anaphase-Promoting Complex. Genetics 2011 Oct 189:549-560.)
Allen, A.K. and Spradling, A.C. The SF-1-like nuclear hormone receptor Hr39 regulated Drosophila female reproductive tract development and function. Dev 2008 Jan 135(2):311-21.