JOANNE CHAPMAN (POstdoctoral researcher)
Jo works on characterizing the activity and evolution of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in Drosophila species. AMPs are small proteins that can directly kill or impede the growth of microorganisms. As such, they play an important role in innate immune defenses of plants and animals. Jo uses a combination of approaches, including functional assays of AMP activity in-vitro, in-vivo infection models involving RNAi gene silencing and CRISPR mediated gene editing, and bioinformatic analyses of AMP diversity and evolution. This will allow her understand the role AMPs play in negating the negative fitness consequences of pathogenic infection in Drosophila.