Ellen O. Lin

I am a technician in the lab of Dr. Ginger Armbrust. My research revolves around the many various projects Dr. Armbrust and the post-docs in the lab are currently working on. I also deal with many of the collaborative projects that come through including our current collaborations with the Joint Genome Institute to sequence the genomes of Pseudonitzschia multiseries and Fragilariopsis under the direction of Dr. Micaela Parker and Dr. Thomas Mock respectively. I am also involved with the development of several EST libraries with the Joint Genome Institute at the level of RNA extraction. I have in the past been involved with generating several subtraction libraries for the organism Pseudonitzschia australis to analyze what genes are turned on when it starts to produce the chemical domoic acid, a marine toxin. Domoic acid is a dangerous toxin that can contaminate the shellfish population and eventually work it's way up the food chain where it can cause permanent short term memory loss in humans, and in the worst cases it can be fatal. It is our hope that we can better understand on a molecular level some of the chemical pathways and triggers for why these diatoms go toxic. I also participate with Dr. Micaela Parker and Dr. Adrian Marchetti in the study of iron and the genes used to regulate it. My studies revolve around trying to pull the gene ferritin, a gene discovered in the previously mentioned subtraction libraries, out of different types of phytoplankton using specially designed code-hop primers. I am also currently the Megabace technician for our facility. I am involved in running and maintaining our Megabace 1000 sequence analyzer whom we have affectionately named “Sofia”. The sequencing facility supports the sequencing efforts of faculty, students, and researchers from various labs in the larger University of Washington's scientific community as well as our own smaller marine molecular community.