Tatjana Abaffy, PhD – Biography

Research Track Professor
Assistant Research Professor

research • biography • publications

Tatjana Abaffy is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology. She received her PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. She completed postdoctoral training at the University of Miami, studying mammalian chemosensation, taste and olfaction.  During that time, she developed a heterologous expression system of olfactory receptors in the Xenopus (frog) oocytes. This method was applied to study receptor activation by various ligands using an electrophysiology method.  Furthermore, she studied structure-function relationship of these GPCRs and identified a ligand-binding pocket in the mouse olfactory receptor. As a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Miami she developed an independent line of research in the area of volatile cancer metabolomics. In particular, she studied volatile and semi-volatile signatures of skin cancer, melanoma. Currently, her research is focused on understanding the role and function of “ectopic” olfactory receptors in cancer.