Uma Arora

PhD Student

Investigating the composition and diversity of centromeric sequence amongst Mus musculus subspecies and autosomes vs sex chromosomes to understand their significance in evolution.

Centromeres are a paradoxical region of the genome: they are one of the most rapidly evolving parts yet their function in successful chromosome segregation remains well conserved. Given their absence in the genome assembly, their diversity amongst different mouse species, subspecies, and strains remains a mystery. The goal of my project is to sequence mouse centromeres from different Mus musculus subspecies to 1) fill in the gap in the mouse genome assembly 2) understand their diversity amongst different subspecies and their evolutionary implications, 3) investigate differences between the autosomes’ and sex chromosomes’ centromeres and their functional implications, 4) investigate whether the subspecies sequence differences can explain why Mus musculus domestics is the only subspecies that forms Robertsonian chromosomal translocations, and 5) measure the transposable element composition of a mouse centromere.

Education and experience


BS Psychobiology and Marine Biology, University of California, Los Angeles (Class of 2016)