Associate Professor, Departments of Medicine and Molecular Biology & Genetics
Director, JHMI Microarray Core Facility
B.A., Smith College
Ph.D., Harvard University
The theme of our research is the identification and evaluation of genetic determinants of chromosome segregation using budding yeast as a model organism. Our goal is to identify and understand the function of genes whose loss results in genome instability in budding yeast, and to evaluate these as potential contributors to genome instability observed in other organisms. Currently, we are engaged in projects aimed at understanding kinetochore proteins operating in spindle checkpoint control, as well as chromosomal proteins important for the establishment or maintenance of sister chromatid cohesion. In addition, we are taking advantage of the yeast knockout strain sets to study chromosome transmission at a genomic level in several strategies. In one, we are embarking on a project to define a set of genetic interactions among nonessential genes (that is, genes which are not themselves individually required for cell viability). A product of this effort will be a "genetic interaction map" documenting lethality, or markedly decreased fitness, of double mutant combinations. This work will reveal functional relationships important in evolution, will augment the definition of pathways, and will serve to predict functional activities of unstudied genes.
- DNA replication/repair and sister chromatid cohesion
- Genetic variation and genome evolution
- Synthetic lethal interaction analysis
- Genetic interaction map of yeast
- Preceptor: Predoctoral Training Program in Human Genetics and the Biochemistry, Cellular, and Molecular Biology Program
- Lecturer, Fundamentals of Genetics. Graduate course. Topics: Introduction to Genetics, and Meiosis & Recombination in Tetrad Analysis. Since 1997
- Instructor, Method and Logic. Graduate course. Since 1997
- Lecturer, Advanced Topics in Human Genetics. Graduate course. Topic: Human disease gene identification. Since 1993
- Organizer, Cold Spring Harbor Fall Course "Gene Isolation: Advanced Methods in Positional Cloning" 1997 - 2000
Recognition and Leadership Roles:
- American Cancer Society Junior Faculty Research Award, 1995-1997
- Member, Institute of Genetic Medicine Advisory Committee, 1997-1999
- Member, Human Genetics & Molecular Biology Graduate Admissions Committee, 1996-present
- BCMB Graduate Admissions Committee, 1995-1999
- Member, Emerging Core Technologies Task Force, Advisor to Executive Vice Dean Elias Zerhouni, 1999
- Member, Institute of Genetic Medicine Education Committee, 2001-present
- Director, JHMI Microarray Core Facility (www.microarray.jhmi.edu)
Hanna JS, E Kroll, P Hieter, F Spencer. Budding yeast CTF4 and CTF18 are required for sister chromatid cohesion. Mol Cell Biol 21:3144-3158 (2001).
Warren C, M Brady, J Hanna, R Johnston, KG Hardwick, and F Spencer. Distinct chromosome segregation roles for spindle checkpoint proteins. Mol Biol Cell 13:3029-3041 (2002).
Warren CD, DM Eckley, MS Lee, JS Hanna, A Hughes, B Peyser, C Jie, R Irizarry, and F Spencer. S phase checkpoint genes safeguard high fidelity sister chromatid cohesion. Mol Biol Cell 15: 1724-1735 (2004).
Wu Z, RA Irizarry, R Gentleman, F Martinez-Murillo, and FA Spencer. A model based background adjustment for oligonucleotide expression arrays. J Am Stat Assoc 468:909-917 (2004).
Pan X, DS Yuan, D Xiang, X Wang, S Sookhai-Mahadeo, JS Bader, PA Hieter, F Spencer, JD Boeke. A robust toolkit for functional profiling of the yeast genome. Mol Cell 16: 487-496 (2004).
Kastenmayer JP, MS Lee, AL Hong, FA Spencer, MA Basrai. The C-terminal half of Mad1p mediates spindle checkpoint function, chromosome transmission fidelity, and CEN association. Genetics, in press (2005).
Irizarry RA, Warren D, Spencer F, Kim IF, Biswal S, Frank BC, Gabrielson E, Garcia JG, Geoghegan J, Germino G, Griffin C, Hilmer SC, Hoffman E, Jedlicka AE, Kawasaki E, Martinez-Murillo F, Morsberger L, Lee H, Petersen D, Quackenbush J, Scott A, Wilson M, Yang Y, Ye SQ, Yu W. Multiple-laboratory comparison of microarray platforms. Nat Methods 2: 345-50 (2005).
Forrest Spencer, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Institute of Genetic Medicine
733 N Broadway, BRB 447
Baltimore, MD 21205
Phone: (410) 614-2536
Fax: (410) 614-8600