From the PhD to Professor
If you're thinking about a career in academia, find out how Rachel O'Neill transitioned from her postdoc to a faculty position, as well as the benefits and challenges of this path.
Rachel O'Neill, PhD, University of Connecticut
Associate Professor Rachel O'Neill uses molecular genetic approaches to study centromere determinance; centromere function and evolution; small RNA biogenesis; transcriptional control and chromatin modifiers during stem cell differentiation; chromosome evolution; speciation and hybrid dysgenesis in several model systems, including human, mouse, marsupial and platypus. Using techniques such as transgenics, in situ hybridization, microarray screening, cell assays, and next-generation sequencing platforms, Rachel is addressing the hypothesis that small RNA forms mediate epigenetic controls. Recently, she has applied these techniques to study species-specific placental development and evolution with respect to retroelement load; transposable elements and retroviruses; and, the epigenetic effectors of gene expression and chromosome structure in models as diverse as deer mice and matrotrophic fish.
Rachel received her BA Hns at the University of Texas at Austin and her Ph.D. at La Trobe University in Australia. She was later a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Melbourne Royal Melbourne Hospital, Princeton University and Rutgers University. She is now an Honors Faculty Fellow and serves as Director of the Next Generation Sequencing and Microarray Facility in the Center for Applied Genetics and Technology at the University of Connecticut.