Dr. Jessica Fellmeth

Assistant Professor, General Biology, Human Genetics

Dr. Jessica Fellmeth

Contact Information

Jessica.fellmeth@millersville.edu

Office: Caputo 305B
Phone: 717-871-7430

Office Hours

M: 2 - 4:30 pm
R: 1 - 3:30 pm
Comments: Other office hours by appointment.

EDUCATION:

B.S. in Biology from The College of New Jersey (Class of ’06),

PhD from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey in Molecular Genetics 2015


COURSES TAUGHT:

BIOL 100 – General biology
Human Genetics

AREA OF SPECIALIZATION:

Reproductive Genetics

RESEARCH INTEREST(S):

Research in my lab focuses on how to make a good egg! Accurate chromosome segregation in meiosis (the process of cell division that creates eggs and sperm) is CRUCIAL for producing a “fit” next generation of any sexually reproducing species. Errors in meiotic chromosome segregation lead to infertility and birth defects such as Down Syndrome. Many of the genes involved in this process are unknown or not fully understood. We use Drosophila melanogaster, the might fruit fly, as a model system to investigate the various components of the meiotic centromere and kinetochore to better understand chromosome segregation. Students in my lab will perform extensive genetic investigations


SELECTED PUBLICATION(S): (*STUDENT)

Fellmeth, JE, McKim K.S. Meiotic CENP-C is a shepherd: Bridging the space between the centromere and the kinetochore in time and space. Essays in Biochemistry. Accepted 7/14/20

*Fellmeth, JE, Ghanaim, EM, Schindler, K. Characterization of macrozoospermia-associated AURKC mutations in a mammalian meiotic system. Human Molecular Genetics. 2016 Jul 1;25(13):2698-2711

*Fellmeth, JE, Gordon D, Robins, CE, Scott, RT, Jr, Treff, NR, and Schindler, K. Expression and characterization of three Aurora kinase C splice variants found in human oocytes. Molecular Human Reproduction. 2015 Aug; 21(8):633-44.

*Fellmeth, JE, Sturm, H, Jang, J, Changela, N, McKim, KS. A tale of two CENP-C’s: dynamic and stable populations of CENP-C in oocyte meiosis are both required for accurate chromosome segregation. Submission Winter 2020 to Genes and Development.

*Vora, M, Kane, N, Varre,K, Fellmeth, JE, Padgett, R, McKim, K. Expansion of PAM selection for ebony-based Co-CRISPR in Drosophila melanogaster for efficient detection of genome edited events Utilization of Co-CRISPR techniques for increased efficiency of mutant screening in Drosophila melanogaster. Submission Winter 2020 to G3.

 

STUDENT RESEARCH: 

My research lab is brand new, but I have brought two projects with me from my postdoctoral lab.  The first is investigating the role of CENP-C in prophase of meiosis.  My previous work has shown that CENP-C has dual functionality in the centromere and the kinetochore. I have shown that CENP-C is exchanged at the centromere during prophase I of meiosis and that this dynamic behavior is necessary for proper chromosome segregation during metaphase I. I created 3 transgenic fly lines expressing mutant forms of CENP-C that may affect the prophase loading of CENP-C.  Students working on this project will begin investigating these mutants by assessing their fertility and rates of aneuploidy (chromosome segregation defects). I am collaborating with Dr. Kim McKim at Rutgers university on a large-scale RNAi screen of the entire Drosophila genome to identify previously unknown genes involved in meiosis. Students involved in this project will work with large data sets to make predictions about the functionality of previously undescribed genes. They will also use RNA interference techniques to knock down gene expression of novel targets to identify genes involved in chromosome segregation and fertility.