Section for Molecular Plant Biology
1871 Frederiksberg C
Primary fields of research
Genetics, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Genomics
Organisms must respond favourably to changing environments. Solutions to these challenges are instructed in genomic DNA. Curiously, large sections of DNA in diverse organisms ranging from yeast to plants and animals do not actually code for protein. The biological significance of all this non-coding DNA is unclear and the subject of ongoing debate.
My PhD research at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland was supported by a Darwin Trust Fellowship and revealed how transcription through non-coding regions of the genome regulates neighbouring gene expression by altering local chromatin structure (Ard et al. 2014 Nature Communications; Ard and Allshire, 2016 Nucleic Acids Research). The journal Genetics later featured my perspectives on the diverse functional consequences of transcription within these regions of "junk DNA" (Ard et al. 2017 Genetics).
My postdoctoral research at the University of Copenhagen was supported by a prestigious EMBO Long-Term Fellowship and expanded on my PhD work by dissecting the molecular mechanisms governing gene and isoform regulation by pervasive transcription in plants exposed to environmental stress (Ard et al. 2019 Manuscript In Review; Nielsen*, Ard* et al. 2019, Plos Genetics; Kindgren, Ard et al. 2018, Nature Communications).
Teaching assistant for "Experimental Molecular Biology", University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Former Teaching assistant for "The Dynamic Cell" and "Molecules, Genes, and Cells" at the University of Edinburgh, UK as well as "Genetics" and "Intro. to Molecular Biology" at the University of Windsor, Canada.