Download Full Text (1.1 MB)


My thesis research studies the genetic material that is the blue print to make animal life. In animals, a key type of genetic material is sequences collectively referred to as cis-regulatory elements (CREs). These sequences control the expression of genes; more specifically they instruct when to turn "ON" or "OFF" the production of a gene's functional product. My research investigates the interaction between the two CREs, the Anterior Element and Dimorphic Element, of the fruit fly species Drosophila melanogaster. These two CREs act synergistically to produce a pattern of expression for the bab1 and bab2 genes that differs between male and female flies. As synergistic CRE interactions have seldom been reported, my research has sought to identify the necessary sequences for this interaction. Learning more about CRE functions in fruit flies will facilitate a better understanding as to how CREs function in our own genetic material.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Honors Thesis

Primary Advisor

Thomas M. Williams

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium poster

Identifying the DNA Sequence Requirements for a Synergistic Interaction Between Two Cis-Regulatory Elements