Faculty: Biography

Jessica Kissinger, Ph.D.
Professor of Genetics, Director, Institute of Bioinformatics
Genetics
Address: Paul D. Coverdell Center
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602
Office: 370B
Phone: (706) 542-6562
Email: jkissing@uga.edu
Biosketch
Ph.D. Molecular, Cellular & Developmental BiologyIndiana UniversityBloomington, IN1995
A.B. cum laudeUniversity of ChicagoChicago, IL1989
Post-doctoral Experience
Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 1998-2000
Post-doctoral Fellow: Centro de Pesquisas René Rachou - FIOCRUZ, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 1996-1998
Post-doctoral Fellow National Institutes of Health, 1995-1996
Honors and Awards
2009 Creative Research Medal, University of Georgia
2008 National Associate, National Research Council, National Academies
2003 Young Investigator Award, 7th International Congress on Toxoplasmosis
Research Interests
The Kissinger lab is interested in parasite genomics and the biology of genome evolution. How do genomes evolve? Can we trace gene order, identify and determine the fate of horizontally transferred genes (as well as any existing endogenous orthologs) and identify genes that are phylogenetically restricted? The answers to these questions are important because of the insight they provide into parasite biology and the identification of potential drug targets. Her research focuses on, but is not limited to, Apicomplexan parasites. The Apicomplexa are ideal for phylogenomic studies for several reasons:

* All of the estimated 5000 species of Apicomplexa are believed to be parasitic
* The Apicomplexa have a rich evolutionary history that includes endosymbiotic events and extensive gene transfer
* There are currently genome sequences available for more than a dozen species and hundreds of new genome and strain sequencing projects are underway in addition to numerous RNA-Seq, and ChIP-Seq projects for prominent members of this phylum including numerous Plasmodium species (the causative agent of malaria), Theileria, Babesia, Eimeria, Sarcocystis, Toxoplasma and Cryptosporidium.

Dr. Kissinger's approach is to apply molecular, computational and phylogenetic tools to the analysis of parasite genomes. Projects include the development of tools for data integration, data mining, comparative genomics and assessing the phylogenetic distribution of genes. Her research group utilizes standard molecular biology techniques as well as powerful high-performance computing approaches.
Representative Publications
Aurrecoechea, C., A. Barreto, J. Brestelli, B. Brunk, E. Caler, S. Fischer, B. Gajria, X. Gao, A. Gingle, G. Grant, O. Harb, M. Heiges, J. Iodice, J. C. Kissinger, E. Kraemer, W. Li, V. Nayak, C. Pennington, D. Pinney, B. Pitts. (2010) AmoebaDB and MicrosporidiaDB: Functional Genomic Resources for Amoebazoa and Microsporidia Species. Nucleic Acids Research, 2010, 1–8 doi:10.1093/nar/gkq1006

Joseph, S.J., J. A. Fernandez-Robledo, M. J. Gardner, N.M. El-Sayed, C-H. Kuo, E. J. Schott, H. Wang, J. C. Kissinger and G. R. Vasta. The Alveolate Perkinsus marinus: Biological Insights from EST Gene Discovery BMC Genomics 2010, 11:228

Jackwood, M.W., T.O. Boynton, D.A. Hilt, E.T. McKinley, J.C. Kissinger, A.H. Paterson, J. Robertson, C. Lemke, A.W. McCall, S.M. Williams, J.W. Jackwood and L. Byrd. (2009) Emergence of a group 3 coronavirus through recombination. Virology, Virology 2010 Mar 1;398(1):98-108.

Aurrecoechea, C., J. Brestelli, B.P. Brunk, S. Fischer, B. Gajria, J. Gao, A. Gingle, G. Grant, O.S. Harb, M. Heiges, F. Innamorato, J. Iodice, J.C. Kissinger, E.T. Kraemer, W. Li, J.A. Miller, V. Nayak, C. Pennington, D.F. Pinney, D.S. Roos, C. Ross, G. Srinivasamoorthy, C.J. Stoeckert Jr., R. Thibodeau, C. Treatman, H. Wang. (2010) EuPathDB: a Portal to Eukaryotic Pathogen Databases. Nucleic Acids Research 38:D415-419

Aslett, M., C. Aurrecoechea, M. Berriman, J. Brestelli, B. P. Brunk, M. Carrington, D. P. Depledge, S. Fischer, B. Gajria, X. Gao, M. J. Gardner, A. Gingle, G. Grant, O. S. Harb, M. Heiges, C. Hertz-Fowler, R. Houston, F. Innamorato, J. Iodice, J. C. Kissinger, E. Kraemer, W. Li, F. Logan, J. A. Miller, S. Mitra, P. J. Myler, V. Nayak, C. Pennington, I. Phan, D. F. Pinney, G. Ramasamy, M. Rogers, D. S. Roos, C. Ross, D. Sivam, D. F. Smith, G. Srinivasamoorthy, C. J. Stoeckert Jr., S. Subramanian, R. Thibodeau, A. Tivey, C. Treatman, G. Velarde, H. Wang (2010) TriTrypDB: A Functional Genomic Resource for the Trypanosomatidae. Nucleic Acids Research 38:D457-462
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