Duke University Medical Center
Faculty and Research

Heitman Lab Members

Jessie Uehling
Graduate Student

317 CARL Building
Box 3546 DUMC
Durham, N.C. 27710

Phone: 919.684.2809
Fax: 919.684.5458
Email: jku@duke.edu

Jessie Uehling

I’m Jessie Uehling, and I joined the University Program in Genetics and Genomics (UPGG) at Duke in the fall of 2012 after receiving a BS in Botany and MSc in Mycology from Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA. My interests in tropical botany and mycology began during an influential summer I spent at a field research station in Panama as an undergraduate. I continued studying mutualistic symbiotic plants and fungi in the neotropics during my master's, which focused on the molecular ecology and systematics of the fungal genus Clavulina in Guyana. I started working in the Heitman lab in January 2013 on a project aimed at understanding the function of the pheromone receptor–like gene CPR2 in Cryptococcus neoformans. The identification of potential mates and evaluation of their suitability for sexual reproduction is driven by pheromone receptors encoded by the mating type (MAT) locus. CPR2 is an intriguing receptor-like gene because it is induced during mating yet is not encoded by MAT and produces anomalous phenotypes leading to several hypotheses about its potential function(s). I look forward to this project adding a new perspective and dimension to my mycological experience. In the future, I plan to use comparative genomics to investigate plant fungal interactions over large spatial scales to gain insight on how the evolutionary and biogeographic history of fungal groups shaped diversity patterns we see today.

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