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Travis Johnson

travis-johnsonResearch Fellow

Education: BSc Hons (First class) PhD Monash University

Areas of expertise: Drosophila molecular genetics, Developmental genetics

Research interest: My work focuses on understanding the roles and mechanism of action of the Drosophila MACPF protein Torso-like. Unlike many proteins of the MACPF superfamily whose roles are in pathogenesis and immunity, Torso-like is unique in that it is critical for developmental patterning of the early embryo. The identification of Torso-like as a MACPF protein has presented us with a great opportunity to study the functional diversity of the MACPF domain. Using the powerful genetic model Drosophila, I am incorporating molecular genetics approaches including genome-wide screening for genetic interactions in conjunction with structure/function analyses. The primary goals of my work are to determine how Torso-like functions in Drosophila as well as to identify novel proteins that work in concert with Torso-like. We are confident that the information gained from these experiments will lead us to a greater understanding of MACPF proteins in higher organisms.