Ana Lilia Torres-Machorro: Fitness of yeast mutant strains
Ana Lilia Torres-Machorro
Dr. Torres-Machorro at the UCSD lab of Lorraine Pillus

Ana Lilia Torres-Machorro was awarded the UC MEXUS-CONACYT Postdoctoral Fellowship to conduct research in the Division of Biological Sciences at UC San Diego under the supervision of Lorraine Pillus from 2011 to 2013. Torres-Machorro uses yeast as a genetic model to study a gene that is affected in many types of cancer: ESA1/TIP60. (Esa1 is an enzyme that regulates chromatin, the DNA-protein structure that contains the genetic information of the cell.) Her work explores conditions that improve the fitness of esa1 mutant cells, specifically when responding to DNA damage, a pathway that when impaired can lead to cancer. Her results describe the reasons why esa1 mutant cells are incapable of an efficient repair of damaged DNA. Importantly, she also found different ways to solve esa1 mutant cell repair problems by improving their ability to ligate broken DNA. These findings may have important implications for clinical research directed toward improved cancer therapies and/or antifungal drugs. Dr. Torres-Machorro can be reached at atorresmachorro@ucsd.edu.

Dilution Assay
Growth assays comparing the fitness of yeast mutant strains on different media