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Leal Lab

Houston, Texas

The Cullen Building at Baylor College of Medicine.
Molecular and Human Genetics - Center for Statistical Genetics
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Kristine Bucasas

Contact InformationKristine Bucasas

lacuesta@bcm.edu

Research Interests

My main interest lies in the application and development of quantitative approaches for the analyses of large-scale, high-dimensional data sets from genomic studies, with an overall goal of improving our understanding of the biological mechanisms particularly the genetic basis of complex human traits. A large part of my past research experience focused on the genetics of host immune responses. From these, I generated, analyzed and interpreted multiple types of high thoroughput genome-wide information from different human samples and in the process, dealt with the intricacies of working with real data sets. Specifically in my dissertation work, I performed expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) mapping of influenza vaccine responsiveness and showed three main findings. First, I defined the genome-wide perturbation in the peripheral blood expression profiles of individuals who received the seasonal influenza vaccine and consequently identified transcripts that highly correlate with antibody responses to the vaccine. Second, I integrated the expression data with the subjects’ genomic information and identified strong candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that control transcript abundance. Third, I developed a method to identify a subset of eQTL whose regulatory action varied depending on the time after the introduction of influenza stimulus. Together, this body of work provides information on how host genetic factors and biological mechanisms could alter the outcome of influenza vaccination. I was supported by an Individual NIH Pre-doctoral Fellowship (5F31AI071372) to complete this dissertation. In my next stage of training, Dr. Leal is directly mentoring me on the development and application of novel gene mapping strategies applied to a broader set of human phenotypes.

Education

  • B.S. in Chemistry, University of the Philippines, Diliman
  • Post-B.S. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Houston Baptist University
  • Ph.D. in Pathology and Immunology, Baylor College of Medicine

Publications

  • Bucasas KL, Franco. LM, Shaw CA, Bray MS, Wells JM, Nino D, Arden N, Quarles JM, Couch RB, Belmont JW. (2011) Early patterns of gene expression correlate with the humoral immune response to influenza vaccination in humans. J Infect Dis. April 203(7):921-929. PMID 21357945
  • Bucasas KL, Pandya GA, Pradhan S, Fleischmann RD, Petersen SN, Belmont JW. (2009) Assessing the utility of whole-genome amplified serum DNA for array-based high-thoroughput genotyping. BMC Genet. Dec 18:10:85. PMID 20021669
  • Lacuesta K, Buza E, Hauser H, Granville L, Pule M, Corboy G, Finegold M, Weiss H, Chen SY, Brenner MK, Heslop HE, Rooney CM, Bollard CM. (2006) Assessing the safety of cytotoxic T lymphocytes transduced with a dominant negative TGFb receptor. J Immunotherapy. May-June; 29(3):250-260. PMID 16699368
  • Bollard CM, Straathof K, Huls H, Leen A, Lacuesta K, Davis A, Gottschalk S, Brenner MK, Heslop HE, Rooney CM. (2004) The generation and characterization of LMP2-specific CTL for use as adoptive transfer from patients with relapsed EBV-positive Hodgkin Disease. J Immunotherapy. Jul-Aug; 27(4):317-327. PMID 15235393

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