Investigates the genetic regulation of meiosis and the mechanisms of male fertility to understand how errors in meiosis can lead to developmental abnormalities.
The Handel laboratory investigates the genetic regulation of meiosis and spermatogenesis and male fertility. Meiosis is the specialized cell division, unique to germ cells, that reduces the number of chromosome sets from two (diploid) to one(haploid), thus producing the egg and sperm gametes that come together during sexual reproduction. Appropriate dynamics and behavior of chromosomes during meiosis are essential to genetic integrity and reproductive success. Our investigations focus on factors extrinsic and intrinsic to meiotic chromosomes that establish meiotic chromosome structural transitions in both male and female germ cells and identify sexually dimorphic events. From our endeavors, significant new information is emerging about how germ cells program meiotic events, and ultimately this will help us understand how errors in meiotic mechanisms lead to aneuploidy, or inappropriate chromosome number, producing developmental abnormalities in offspring.
2010 - AAAS Fellow
2009 – 2014 - Faculty, Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, Frontiers in Reproduction
2008- 2015 - Director, Cooperative Predoctoral Program, The Jackson Laboratory
2011 - Professor, Department of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine
2005 - Adjunct Professor, Graduate Faculty, University of Maine
2003 - Senior Research Scientist, The Jackson Laboratory
2003 - Professor Emeritus, University of Tennessee
1989 – 2002 - University of Tennessee Distinguished Service Professor
1998 - 2003 - Faculty, University of Tennessee - Oak Ridge National Laboratory School of Genome Science and Technology
1995 - 2003 - Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Tennessee
1973 - 1995 - Assistant, Associate, Full Professor, Department of Zoology, University of Tennessee
Ongoing NIH-funded projects