People

KELLY E. O'QUIN


Assistant Professor           Office: Young 121
Biology Program                Hours: MWF 1:30 - 4:00 & by appt.
Centre College                   Phone: (859) 238-5370
Danville, KY 40422            Email: kelly.oquin[at]centre.edu

Interests: Eye Development and Disease, Evolutionary Biology, Quantitative Genetics, Comparative Genomics





Current Undergraduate Researchers

SHRUTI MERCHANT


ProjectReview of common patterns of eye and retinal degeneration among cavefishes in South America.

Currently: Accepted to MBA program at St. Bonaventure University and medical school at The George Washington University.

AAKASH PATEL


Project: Bioinformatic identification of loss-of-function mutations in gene networks involved in early eye development and photoreceptor function.

Currently: Accepted to medical school at The George Washington University.

JAISREE IYER


Project: The role of rhodopsin mutations in cavefish photoreceptor development and degeneration.

Currently: Biology Sophmore at St. Bonaventure University and accepted to medical school at The George Washington University.

Past Undergraduate Researchers

HALLIE WHALEN (2013, UMD)


Project: The role of rhodopsin mutations in cavefish photoreceptor development and degeneration.

Currently: Biology Sophmore at University of Maryland

POOJA DOSHI (2011 - 2013, UMD)


Project: Quantifying retinal and scleral thickness among Astyanax cave X surface fish hybrids for QTL analysis

Publications: 
O’Quin KE, Yoshizawa M, Doshi P, Jeffery WR (2013) Quantitative genetic analysis of retinal degeneration in the blind cavefish Astyanax mexicanus. PLoS ONE 8:e57281.

O'Quin KE, Doshi P, Yoshizawa M, Jeffery WR. Scleral development and ossification among populations of blind cavefish. In preparation.

Currently: 

ANDREW CANONICO (2012, UMD)


Project: Testing candidate genes for retinal degeneration in blind cavefish

Currently: Graduate Student, The School of Medicine & Health Sciences, The George Washington University

NADIA KAHN (2010 - 2011, UMD)


Honors Thesis: “The relationship between retinoic acid receptors and opsin gene expression in cichlids.”

Publications:
O’Quin KE, Schulte J, Patel Z, Kahn N, Naseer Z, Wang H, Hofmann CM, Ser J, Conte M, Carleton KL (2012) Evolution of cichlid vision via trans-regulatory divergence. BMC Evolutionary Biology 12:251.

Currently: 

HELENA WANG (2010 - 2011, UMD)


Honors Thesis: “ROR gene influence on opsin gene expression in African cichlids.”

Publications: 
O’Quin KE, Schulte J, Patel Z, Kahn N, Naseer Z, Wang H, Hofmann CM, Ser J, Conte M, Carleton KL (2012) Evolution of cichlid vision via trans-regulatory divergence. BMC Evolutionary Biology 12:251.

Currently:

JANE SCHULTE (2009 - 2011, UMD)


Honors Thesis: “Do transcription factors or coactivators regulate of cone opsin expression in cichlids?”

Publications: 
Schulte J, O'Brien CS, Conte M, O'Quin KE, Carleton KL. A mutation upstream of Rx1 controls SWS2 opsin expression in African cichlid fishes. In prep.

O’Quin KE, Smith D, Naseer Z, Schulte J, Engle SD, Loh Y-HE, Streelman JT, Boore JL, Carleton KL (2011) Divergence in cis-regulatory sequences surrounding the opsin gene arrays of African cichlid fishes. BMC Evolutionary Biology 11:120.

O’Quin KE, Schulte J, Patel Z, Kahn N, Naseer Z, Wang H, Hofmann CM, Ser J, Conte M, Carleton KL (2012) Evolution of cichlid vision via trans-regulatory divergence. BMC Evolutionary Biology 12:251.

Currently: Graduate Student, Department of Cell & Molecular Biology, University of Pennsylvania

ZAN NASEER (2008 - 2011, UMD)


Honors Thesis: “Do Retinoic X receptors play a role in the expression of opsin genes in African cichlids?”

Publications: 
O’Quin KE, Smith D, Naseer Z, Schulte J, Engle SD, Loh Y-HE, Streelman JT, Boore JL, Carleton KL (2011) Divergence in cis-regulatory sequences surrounding the opsin gene arrays of African cichlid fishes. BMC Evolutionary Biology 11:120.

O’Quin KE, Schulte J, Patel Z, Kahn N, Naseer Z, Wang H, Hofmann CM, Ser J, Conte M, Carleton KL (2012) Evolution of cichlid vision via trans-regulatory divergence. BMC Evolutionary Biology 12:251.

Currently: Graduate Student, School of Medicine, New York Medical College


The Gene Team
During my graduate studies on the genetic basis of opsin gene expression in African cichlid fishes, I formed the The Gene Team, a group of undergraduate researchers trained to identify mutations in several candidate genes and test the association of these mutations with variation in cichlid opsin gene expression.  Each student wrote and defended an Honors Thesis, and their work ultimately resulted in three peer-reviewed publications.  Many members of the Gene Team are now successful students in graduate and medical school.

The University of Maryland Cichlid Opsin Gene Team, 2011
Dr. Karen L. Carleton, Zil Patel, Dr. Kelly O'Quin, Zan Naseer, Nadia Kahn, Jane Schulte, Helena Wang

The Gene Team's Candidate Genes
Retinoid X Receptors, Retinoid-related Orphan Receptors, Thyroid Hormone Receptors, Visual System Homeobox, Retonoic Acid Receptors, Nuclear Receptor Coactivator, Short Wavelength Sensitive Opsin