Tamara Davis

Eleanor A. Bliss Professor and Chair of Biology
Tamara Davis headshot

Contact

Phone 610-526-5065
Website Lab Website
Location Park 222A

Education

  • Postdoctoral work, University of Pennsylvania
  • Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley
  • B.A., University of California at San Diego

Areas of Focus

Genetics and molecular biology.

Biography

My lab at Bryn Mawr College conducts research in genomic imprinting. Genomic imprinting is a mammalian-specific phenomenon whereby the expression of a subset of genes depends on their parental origin. In other words, although mammals inherit one copy (allele) of every gene from our mothers and one copy from our fathers, there are a small number of genes for which only the maternally inherited copy is expressed and a small number for which only the paternally inherited copy is expressed. Along with undergraduate students, I investigate the epigenetic mechanisms responsible for regulating the parent of origin-specific expression of imprinted genes. DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification that plays an important role in marking one of the two parental alleles so it can be chemically distinguished from the other, unmethylated parental allele. In addition, DNA methylation plays a role in regulating the expression of imprinted genes; in many cases, the methylated allele is silent, while the unmethylated allele is expressed. My lab conducts analysis of DNA methylation patterns at imprinted genes during various stages of development in the mouse in order to understand when DNA methylation is acquired during development what mechanisms are responsible for stable vs. variable maintenance of DNA methylation patterns at different genomic regions.