Lab members

Cindi Staber

Research Specialist
B.S. Biology – University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

M.S. Biology – University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Cindi began her undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with plans of becoming an accountant, but early on, she discovered a love of science and research and began her training in Drosophila genetics, studying rDNA pairing sites in the laboratory of Dr. Bruce McKee. After receiving her B.S. and M.S. in Biology from UWEC, she went on to work as a researcher for Dr. Barry Ganetzky at the University of Wisconsin, where she studied the classic Drosophila meiotic drive system, Segregation Distorter (SD). Her work on SD resulted in the publication of a 1999 Science paper in which she identified the primary drive locus of SD as a mutation in the nuclear transport gene RanGAP. This was the first molecular identification of any meiotic drive gene. In 2002, she moved to New England to join the lab of Dr. Robert Reenan. As a Sr. Research Associate in the Reenan Lab at the University of Connecticut Health Center, and later at Brown University, she discovered the joys of homologous recombination and the power of using Drosophila to model human disease. Using HR to make precise changes in ion channel genes allowed the accurate modeling of several forms of human epilepsy in Drosophila. In 2010, Cindi returned to the Midwest and joined the Stowers Institute as a Senior Laboratory Manager for the Zeitlinger Lab. In 2020, Cindi returned to research when she joined the Hawley lab, where she is examining the role of the synaptonemal complex gene c(3)G in crossover interference in Drosophila and screening for additional synaptonemal complex components by mining several scRNA-seq data sets for viable candidates.

Highly Contiguous Genome Assemblies of 15 Drosophila Species Generated Using Nanopore Sequencing
Miller DE, Staber C, Zeitlinger J, Hawley RS. G3 (Bethesda). 2018;8:3131-3141.
Original Data

Knock-in model of Dravet syndrome reveals a constitutive and conditional reduction in sodium current.
Schutte RJ, Schutte SS, Algara J, Barragan EV, Gilligan J, Staber C, Savva YA, Smith MA, Reenan R, O'Dowd DK. J Neurophysiol. 2014;112(4):903-912. doi:10.1152/jn.00135.2014

A global change in RNA polymerase II pausing during the Drosophila midblastula transition.
Chen K, Johnston J, Shao W, Meier S, Staber C, Zeitlinger J. eLife. 2013;2:e00861. doi: 00810.07554/eLife.00861.  
Original Data

Tertiary structural elements determine the extent and specificity of messenger RNA editing.  
Rieder LE, Staber CJ, Hoopengardner B, Reenan RA.  Nat Commun. 2013; 4:2232.

A knock-in model of human epilepsy in Drosophila reveals a novel cellular mechanism associated with heat-induced seizure.
Sun L, Gilligan J, Staber C, Schutte RJ, Nguyen V, O'Dowd DK, Reenan R. J Neurosci. 2012 Oct 10;32(41):14145-55. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2932-12.2012. PMID: 23055484; PMCID: PMC3482260.

Perturbing A-to-I RNA editing using genetics and homologous recombination.
Staber CJ, Gell S, Jepson JE, Reenan RA. Methods Mol Biol. 2011;718:41-73. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-018-8_3. PMID: 21370041.

Quickly and Easily Isolate Genomic DNA from Drosophila with no preprocessing using the Maxwell(r) 16 Instrument.
Staber C. and Mann R. Promega Corporation Updated February 2010.

Identification of selfish genetic elements in natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster.
Robinson, Bethany, Natalie Wiseman, Mingcai Zhang, Cynthia J. Staber, and R.C. Woodruff. Segregation Distorter (SD). Dros. Inf. Serv.91 (2008)

Nervous system targets of RNA editing identified by comparative genomics.
Hoopengardner, B. Bhalla, T. Staber, C. Reenan, R.  Science. 301(5634): 832-6, 2003 Aug 8.

Closing the (Ran)GAP on segregation distortion in Drosophila.
Kusano, A.Staber, C. Chan, H-Y. Ganetzky, B.  [Review] Bioessays.25(2): 108-15, 2003 Feb. 

Segregation distortion induced by wild-type RanGAP in Drosophila.
Kusano, A.Staber, C. Ganetzky, B. PNAS. 99(10): 6866-70, 2002 May 14. 

Nuclear mislocalization of enzymatically active RanGAP causes segregation distortion in Drosophila.
Kusano, A.Staber, C. Ganetzky, B.   Dev Cell. 1(3): 351-61, 2001Sep.Comment in: Dev Cell. 2001 Sep;1(3):311-3 

Truncated RanGAP encoded by the Segregation Distorter locus of Drosophila.
Merrill, C.Bayraktaroglu, L. Kusano, A. Ganetzky, B.  Science. 283(5408): 1742-5, 1999 Mar 12.Comment in: Science. 1999 Mar 12;283(5408):1651-2

Male sterility and meiotic drive associated with sex chromosome rearrangements in Drosophila. Role of X-Y pairing.
McKee, BD. Wilhelm, K. Merrill, C. Ren, X.  Genetics. 149(1): 143-55, 1998 May.  

Functional identification of the Segregation distorter locus of Drosophila melanogaster by germline transformation.
McLean, J R. Merrill, C J. Powers, P A. Ganetzky, B.  Genetics. 137(1): 201-9, 1994 May. 

Promoter-containing ribosomal DNA fragments function as X-Y meiotic pairing sites in D. melanogaster males.
Merrill, C J. Chakravarti, D. Habera, L. Das, S. Eisenhour, L. McKee, BD.  Developmental Genetics. 13(6):468-84, 1992.