Bio: Darienne recently completed her Ph.D. in the Roose lab and is currently a post-doc there finishing a couple of exciting projects. During her Ph.D., she received an NSF graduate research fellowship and presented her work at local, national, and international conferences. She also serves as the Mentoring Events Chair for the Women in Life Sciences (WiLS) group at UCSF and writes scripts for educational whiteboard videos produced by Youreka Science. Prior to coming to UCSF, she worked as a research technician in Dr. Fred Alt’s lab at Children’s Hospital Boston, studying mechanisms of chromosome translocations in B lymphocytes. Outside of the lab, Darienne enjoys cooking, boxing, and traveling (and recently got to combine all these things in her post-graduation trip to Thailand!)
Current work: Darienne is studying the phenomenon of tonic signaling in T lymphocytes. Tonic signals are the low-level, constitutive signals T cells receive when they make contacts with self-antigens in the lymphoid organs. These tonic signals help maintain T cell quiescence (so they don’t attack self and cause autoimmunity) but also help “prime” these cells so they are able to rapidly become activated when they do encounter foreign antigen. Darienne is interested in what downstream cellular processes are impacted by tonic signaling (such as gene transcription, see Myers and Lau et al, Cell Reports 2017). Additionally, she is interested in understanding how perturbations in tonic signaling pathways (e.g. through mutations in signaling proteins) can lead to T cell autoreactivity; this will be important for our full understanding of the molecular basis of autoimmunity.