Innovation and discovery-oriented Research Scientist with extensive expertise in molecular biology, cell biology and biochemistry. Performed basic research relevant to vaccine development. Strong background in theory and operation of DNA and RNA amplification techniques, cloning and expression techniques, protein biochemistry methods. Experiences in using sequence analysis computer programs, including Vector NTI. Strong oral, written and interpersonal communication skills. Excellent team player and collaborator.
Research Focus: Cancer prevention and treatment:Genome stability, DNA repair, Transposable elements, Epigenetics, Genome technologies.
New Methodologies: Single-Molecule Real Time (SMRT) DNA sequencing. Development of novel technology for the genome-wide mapping of carcinogen-induced chemical modifications in the DNA. ChIP sequencing.
Responsibilities: Design, implementation and management of multiple research projects. Emphasis on scientific premises, rigor and data reproducibility. Established multidisciplinary research teams and collaborations within UGA, and partnerships with the biotech industry (Pacific Biosciences, Oxford Nanopore Technologies). Organize project team meetings. Developing effective strategies and actively applying for the internal and extramural research funding. Teaching Cell Biology and Biochemistry course. Training research professionals.
Research Focus: Muscle Biology: Novel endocrine actions of muscle cytokine, myostatin.
New Methodologies: Mammalian cell culture, cell-based assays, digital PCR, ELISA.
Responsibilities: Designed and performed experiments. Performed statistical analyses, including setting up data for analysis, selecting appropriate method and judging validity and reliability of data. Reviewed grant proposals and manuscript submissions.
New Methodologies: Bacterial and yeast cell culture, yeast genetics, DNA, RNA purification, biochemical and molecular techniques (sonication, homogenization, extraction, centrifugation, filtration), cytotoxicity assays, DNA repair assays, DNA damage quantification, handling toxic and carcinogenic substances.
Responsibilities: Planned, designed and performed research experiments. Developed new methods and research protocols. Performed data collection, processing and analysis. Established priorities, schedules, time tables and budgets. Presented research findings to internal and external parties, at national and international conferences. Initiated and maintained liaisons with other departments and collaborators to maximize project success. Wrote manuscripts and grant progress reports. Trained research professionals.
DEPARTMENT OF MICROBIOLOGY MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND BIOCHEMISTRY
Research Focus: Reproductive Biology, Molecular mechanisms of sex determination: Structure, function and regulation of genes involved in sexual development, using fungal model organism-Aspergillus nidulans.
New Methodologies: Bacterial and fungal cell culture, fungal genetics, DNA-recombinant technologies, molecular cloning, plasmid design and construction, large-scale plasmid preps, DNA-mediated transformation, gene disruption and complementation, ORF-swap, fusion PCR, real-time, quantitative PCR, site-directed mutagenesis, Southern blotting, Northern blotting, primer design, DNA sequencing and sequence analysis, fungal tissue dissection, spatio-temporal gene expression, microscopy (light, inverted, fluorescent, confocal). Software: MS word, PowerPoint, Excel, Prism, Reference Manager, Photoshop, DNA star (Lasergene).
Responsibilities: Author protocols. Planned and performed experiments. Analyzed data. Wrote manuscripts and progress reports. Assisted with laboratory management, equipment validation and maintenance. Supervised and mentored students and research professionals. Taught Advanced Laboratory Techniques, and General Microbiology Laboratory.
1. Czaja, W., Bensasson, D., Bergman, C.M., Garfinkel, D.J. (2016) Long read SMRT sequencing reveals that the novel form of Ty1-retrotransposon restriction is a widespread mechanism in populations of domesticated and wild yeast (in preparation, to be submitted to PNAS journal).
2. Czaja,W., Nakamura, Y., Eldridge J.A, Marquez Y., DeAvila D,M., Thompson T.B., Rodgers B, D. (2016). Redefining organismal growth control through the novel actions of myostatin (manuscript under review in Endocrinology journal).
3. Hinz, J.M., Czaja W. (2015) Facilitation of Base Excision Repair by Chromatin Remodeling DNA Repair(Amst), 36:91-7.
4. Czaja,W., Mao,P. Smerdon,M.J.(2014) Chromatin remodeling complex RSC promotes Base Excision Repair in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. DNA Repair (Amst),16,35-43.
5. Czaja,W.,Miller,K.Y., Miller,B.L., Skinner, M.K. (2014) Structural and functional conservation of fungal MatA and human SRY sex determining transcription factors. Nature Communications. 17;5:5434.
6. Czaja, W., Miller, K.Y. and Miller, B.L. (2013) Novel Sexual-cycle Specific Gene Silencing in Aspergillus nidulans. Genetics. (featured in the highlights of the month).
7. Czaja, W., Mao, P. and Smerdon, M.J. (2012) The Emerging Roles of ATP-Dependent Chromatin Remodeling Enzymes in Nucleotide Excision Repair. International journal of molecular sciences, 13, 11954-11973.
8. Czaja, K.C., Czaja, W.E. Giacobini-Robecchi,M.G.,Geuna,S., Fornaro,M. (2011) Injury-induced DNA replication and Neural Proliferation in the Adult Mammalian Nervous System. DNA replication and Related Cellular Processes, Kusic-Tisma, J. (ed.), ISBN: 978-953-307-775-8 InTech.
9. Czaja, W., Miller, K.Y. and Miller, B.L. (2011) Complex mechanisms regulate developmental expression of the matA (HMG) mating type gene in homothallic Aspergillus nidulans. Genetics, 189, 795-808.
10. Czaja, W., Bespalov, V.A., Hinz, J.M. and Smerdon, M.J. (2010) Proficient repair in chromatin remodeling defective ino80 mutants of Saccharomyces cerevisiae highlights replication defects as the main contributor to DNA damage sensitivity. DNA Repair (Amst), 9, 976-984.
11. Pyrzak, W., Miller, K.Y. and Miller, B.L. (2008) Mating type protein Mat1-2 from asexual Aspergillus fumigatus drives sexual reproduction in fertile Aspergillus nidulans. Eukaryotic cell, 7, 1029-1040.
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