Contact Information
Anna K. Allen, PhD
Assistant Professor - Department of Biology

Office Location: EE Just Hall Room 244
Office Telephone: 202-806-6957
Laboratory Location: EE Just Hall Room 242
Laboratory Telephone: 202-806-5614
Link to Google Scholar: Anna K. Allen

B.S., George Washington University (2001)
Ph.D., Johns Hopkins (2007)

Genetics Society of America (GSA) (2003-Present)
National Science Teachers Association (NTSA) (2011-Present)

General Biology (BIOL101)
Genetics (BIOL200)
Honors Directed Readings (BIOL318)
Developmental Biology (BIOL413 / 713)

Research Interests
Molecular Genetics
Developmental Biology
Fertilization and Reproduction, Oogenesis

Grants and Funding Awards
NIH R15 Award, NICHD 2016-2019 [PI]
DOD Major Research Instrumentation 2014-2015 [PI]

Laboratory Personnel
Ruby Boateng - Graduate Student
Michelle Fernando - Graduate Student
Sofiat Atoba - Undergraduate Researcher
Lakai Legg - Undergraduate Researcher
Victoria Nguyen - Undergraduate Researcher
India Bradley - Undergraduate Researcher
Kyrionna Golliday - Undergraduate Researcher

Howard University Team, led by Dr. Anna Allen, won the Grand Prize at the 2017 DC Public Health Case Challenge!

Research Detailed:
The overall goal of the Allen lab is to study the mechanisms by which a high quality gamete (the egg) is generated and how that gamete then undergoes one of the most fascinating process in development, fertilization. We use the nematode C. elegans as a model system to study two specific aspects of meiosis: 1) oocyte meiotic arrest and 2) oocyte maturation. To address these issues, we are taking an interdisciplinary approach involving genetics, molecular biology, cytological and biochemical techniques to study C. elegans meiosis.

Currently the lab is working on studying the role of an RNA-binding protein (ETR-1) in oogenesis and also on elucidating a potential non-canonical, non-proteolytic role for subunits of the proteasome in reproduction.

Selected Publications

  Boateng, R. and Allen, A.K. New Role for an Old Protein: An Educational Primer for Use with “The Identification of a Novel Mutant Allele of topoisomerase II in Caenorhabditis elegans Reveals a Unique Role in Chromosome Segregation During Spermatogenesis” Genetics 2018 Jan 208 (1), 79-88.
  Elgin, S.C., Hauser C., Holzen, T.M., Jones, C., Kleinschmit A., Leatherman, J., and Genomics Education Partnership*. The GEP: Crowd-Sourcing Big Data Analysis with Undergraduates. Trends Genet. Epub December 6th, 2016. (Dr. Allen is part of the GEP)
  Allen, A.K., Nesmith, J.E. and Golden A. An RNAi-based suppressor screen for interactors of the Myt1 ortholog of C. elegans. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics 2014 December 4(12), 2329-2343
  Boateng R, Nguyen KCQ, Hall DH, Golden A, Allen AK. Novel functions for the RNA-binding protein ETR-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans reproduction and engulfment of germline apoptotic cell corpses. Dev Biol. 2017 Sep 1;429(1):306-320
  Shakes, D.C., Allen, A.K., Albert, K.M., and Golden, A. emb-1 encodes the APC16 subunit of the Caenorhabditis elegans Anaphase-Promoting Complex. Genetics 2011 Oct 189:549-560.)
  Allen, A.K. and Spradling, A.C. The SF-1-like nuclear hormone receptor Hr39 regulated Drosophila female reproductive tract development and function. Dev 2008 Jan 135(2):311-21.