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Faculty Profile

Erin KelleherErin Kelleher

Assistant Professor
Department of Biology and Biochemistry

Office: Science & Research 2, 421D
Contact: - (713) 743-3640

Education: Ph.D., University of Arizona, B.S./B.A., University of Virginia

Google Scholar Profile

Dr. Erin Kelleher is interested in the relationship between transposable elements (TEs) and their hosts’ genomes. TEs are genetics parasites, that cause deleterious mutations, DNA damage and genetic instability. They are also associated with the onset and progression of many tumor types. A broad range of organisms, from humans to bacteria, regulate the activity of transposable elements through small RNAs. Despite these ill effects, TEs are enormously successful in an evolutionary sense, inhabiting nearly all genomes and recurrently invading new genomes through horizontal transfer. Kelleher’s lab uses Drosophila melanogaster as a model to examine how small RNA mediated silencing evolves to maintain genome integrity.

Honors and Awards

National Institute of Health National Research Service Award, 2010-2013
Cornell Center for Population Genomics Post-Doctoral Fellow, 2009-2010
American Association for University Women Dissertation Fellowship, 2008-2009
National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, 2007
National Science Foundation IGERT Fellow in Genomics, 2004-2008

Organizations, Outreach, Boards, Memberships


Society for the Study of Evolution, Society for the Study of Molecular Biology and Evolution, Genetics Society of America


Co-Instructor the the University of Houston Fly Genetics Workshop, National Science Foundation Research Experience for Teachers Mentor