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2010 CHORI Research Symposium
Celebrating 50 Years of Research


Jay Hollick, Ph.D.
Associate Adjunct Professor, Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley

Talk Title: “Non-Mendelian inheritance of epigenetic variation”



Meiotically heritable changes in gene regulation facilitated by allelic interactions are termed paramutations. Paramutations result in forms of variation and non-Mendelian inheritance that are unaccounted for by the Modern Synthesis of evolution. Originally described in plants, recent examples in mouse indicate that paramutations may be widespread in eukaryotes. The intended presentation highlights our current understanding of both the molecular nature and biological utility of the paramutation process.


Professor Hollick received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Washington in Seattle with Dr. Milton Gordon where his research on stress responsive gene regulation in Poplar trees led him to the emerging area of gene silencing. He was subsequently awarded an NSF post-doctoral fellowship to develop an experimental system in the corn plant to study a highly unusual form of endogenous gene silencing known as paramutation. This work was co-sponsored by Dr. Vicki Chandler at the University of Oregon in Eugene. Following Dr. Chandler's departure to the University of Arizona, Dr. Hollick stayed at Oregon as a principal investigator where he carried out USDA-funded research on the genetics of paramutation. Dr. Hollick has been at the University of California, Berkeley for nearly 10 years now where his research efforts have begun to provide a molecular understanding of the paramutation process.



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