Academics

Faculty & Staff

Steven M. Ackerman, PhD

  • Associate Professor of Biology -- Gene Regulation in Plants and Animals
  • Telephone: (617) 287-6682

Areas of Expertise

Gene Regulation in Plants and Animals

Degrees

PhD, Microbiology Graduate Group, University of Pennsylvania,
BA, Biology, Herbert H. Lehman College of the City University of New York

Professional Publications & Contributions

Additional Information

Professional Interests
My research group investigates gene regulation in plants and animals, specifically the initiation event of RNA synthesis. These studies are designed to address the biochemistry of the transcription process and the regulatory mechanisms governing this process. We biochemically purify wheat transcription proteins and use model in vitro transcription systems from plants and animals to characterize plant general transcription proteins by substituting them for their congeneric human protein in a homologous human transcription system, forming a heterologous wheat/human system. The gene(s) for proteins of interest are molecularly cloned for further studies.

We also investigate transcription mechanisms in vivo using transgenic wheat. Our biochemical studies also include wheat chromatin remodeling and its effects on transcription, how activator proteins affect transcription initiation via their interaction with wheat TAFs, and transcript families for the general transcription factors of wheat. These investigations incorporate a wide variety of techniques including tissue culture, protein purification by all the standard chromatographies (LC, HPLC, affinity chromatography, etc.), recombinant DNA technologies (molecular cloning, PCR, blotting, etc.), in vitro assay systems, eucaryotic cell transfection and selection, gel retardation and DNA footprinting, etc.

Experience
1989-present Associate Professor, Biology Department, University of Massachusetts, Boston,MA.
1983-1989 Assistant Professor, Biology Department, University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA.
1979-1983 NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, The Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Roberto Weinmann, mentor.
1978-1979 Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Pathology, University of Pennsylvania. John J. Furth, mentor.
1973-1978 NIH trainee for Predoctoral studies, Microbiology Graduate Group, University of Pennsylvania. John J. Furth, mentor.