Dr. Supipi Duffy is a research fellow working under the supervision of Dr. Philip Hieter in the Michael Smith Laboratories at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Duffy completed her PhD in molecular genetics in 2011 at the University of Toronto, with Brenda Andrews as her thesis advisor. She graduated with an honours BSc in biology from the University of Victoria, which included undergraduate research in Dr. Will Hintz’s laboratory.
Dr. Duffy’s research focuses on understanding genetic changes that result in diseases such as cancer. Cancer is a somatic genetic disease where the genetic changes occur spontaneously in one part of the body. Genome instability is a hallmark feature seen in all cancer but whether this instability is a consequence of tumour progression or a driver of tumour evolution remains to be understood.
Using high-throughput genome-wide genetic screens in the model organism budding yeast, Dr. Duffy will focus on finding genes that affect the stability of the genome. The ultimate goal of her research is to utilize conserved genetic interactions to make cancer more susceptible to the effects of chemotherapy and to identify novel chemotherapeutic drugs.
Kaluarachchi Duffy S, Friesen H, Baryshnikova A, Lambert JP, Chong YT, Figeys D, Andrews B. Exploring the yeast acetylome using functional genomics. Cell. 2012 May 11;149(4):936-48. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2012.02.064. (PubMed abstract)
Huang D, Kaluarachchi S, van Dyk D, Friesen H, Sopko R, Ye W, Bastajian N, Moffat J, Sassi H, Costanzo M, Andrews BJ. Dual regulation by pairs of cyclin-dependent protein kinases and histone deacetylases controls G1 transcription in budding yeast. PLoS Biol. 2009 Sep;7(9):e1000188. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000188. Epub 2009 Sep 8. (PubMed abstract)
Kurat CF, Wolinski H, Petschnigg J, Kaluarachchi S, Andrews B, Natter K, Kohlwein SD. Cdk1/Cdc28-dependent activation of the major triacylglycerol lipase Tgl4 in yeast links lipolysis to cell-cycle progression. Mol Cell. 2009 Jan 16;33(1):53-63. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2008.12.019. (PubMed abstract)
Kurat CF, Lambert JP, van Dyk D, Tsui K, van Bakel H, Kaluarachchi S, Friesen H, Kainth P, Nislow C, Figeys D, Fillingham J, Andrews BJ. Restriction of histone gene transcription to S phase by phosphorylation of a chromatin boundary protein. Genes Dev. 2011 Dec 1;25(23):2489-501. doi: 10.1101/gad.173427.111. (PubMed abstract)
Kaluarachchi H, Siebel JF, Kaluarachchi-Duffy S, Krecisz S, Sutherland DE, Stillman MJ, Zamble DB. Metal selectivity of the Escherichia coli nickel metallochaperone, SlyD. Biochemistry. 2011 Dec 13;50(49):10666-77. doi: 10.1021/bi2014882. Epub 2011 Nov 14. (PubMed abstract)