Alison E.M. Adams

 Adams 240X175

Associate Professor
Phone: 928-523-0393
Office: Bldg. 21, room 111

Research/teaching interests

Yeast genetics and cell biology

  • biology of the placebo response  
  • cancer biology

Academic highlights

  • BA: Trinity College, Dublin,1978
  • PhD: University of Michigan, 1984
  • Postdoctoral: University of Edinburgh, 1985
  • Postdoctoral: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1986-1989
  • Postdoctoral: Genentech Inc, 1989-1990

The overall goal of the work in my lab is to use yeast to study problems in cell biology and cancer. Previous work has focused on the use of genetics to understand cytoskeletal structure and function.

During cancer development, chromosomes undergo breakages that lead to rearrangements, which are often unstable and consequently result in further breakage and rearrangements.  Such events lead to translocations, deletions, inversions etc, and may result in altered gene products and/or changes in gene expression.

This, in turn, can affect growth control, and consequently lead to cancer. My lab is using yeast as a model organism to study genomic instability.  In particular, this entails using the extremely powerful genetics possible with this yeast system to (i) identify genes that are normally required to stabilize the genome; and (ii) generate and analyze a large collection of translocations, to identify whether transposing chromosome segments that are not normally adjacent to each other leads to instability.

Selected publications

Sandrock., T.M., S.M. Brower, K.A. Toenjes, and A.E.M. Adams. 1999. Suppressor analysis of fimbrin (Sac6p) overexpression in yeast. Genetics 151: 1287-97.

Whitacre, J.L., D. A. Davis, K.A. Toenjes, S.M. Brower, and A.E.M. Adams. 2001. Generation of an isogenic collection of yeast actin mutants and identification of three interrelated phenotypes. Genetics. 157(2):533-43.

Kandl, K.A., R. Munshi, Ortiz P.A., Andersen, G.R., Kinzy, T.G., and A.E.M. Adams 2002. Identification of a role for actin in translational fidelity in yeast. Molecular Genet. Genomics. 268 (1) 10-18.

McCarter, S., D. Johnson, K. Kitt, C. Donohue, A. Adams and J. Wilson.  2010.  Regulation of tight junction assembly and epithelial polarity by a resident protein of apical endosomes.  Traffic 11 (6): 856-66.

Ueckert, C., A. Adams and J. Lock.  2011.  Redesigning a Large-Enrollment Introductory Biology Course.  CBE Life Sci Educ 10(2): 164-174.