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Seasson Phillips Vitiello, Ph.D.

seasson.vitiello@augie.edu

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Position:

  • Assistant Professor, Biology
  • Augustana University

Education:

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Rochester, Rochester, N.Y.
  • Ph.D., Biochemistry, University of Rochester, Rochester, N.Y.
  • B.S., Biology, Nazareth Colege, Rochester, N.Y.

Current Research: There are two major research projects in the Vitiello lab. One project involves understanding newly identified polymorphisms that are identified in patients who undergo whole exome genetic testing. The detailed nature of these polymorphisms, such as the effects of the mutations on disease progression, is unreported in the literature. In collaboration with Dr. Megan Landsverk, the director of the Molecular Genetics Division of the Sanford Medical Genetics Laboratory, my lab aims to understand these polymorphisms using molecular biology techniques on cell lines and DNA derived from patients. The second project aims to understand the genetics of drought tolerance in plants. Even though characterizing the mechanisms of drought response is vitally important to our understanding of how plants will be effected by the changing climate, the genetics of drought response is unclear. In collaboration with Drs. Steven Matzner (Augustana University) and Carrie Olson-Manning (Augustana University), the Vitiello lab contributes to a functional genomics project to identify drought-related genes and the mechanisms of transcriptional regulation of these genes.