Projects per year
My research aims to answer this fundamental question; how does genome architecture influence an organism’s ability to respond to, and more importantly adapt to, its environment. In its simplest form, this means examining chromatin based mechanisms of gene expression regulation. On evolutionary time scales, it involves asking whether changes to chromatin architecture can dictate evolutionary trajectories.
We use single celled yeast species from the Saccharomycotina subphylum to answer these questions, which includes the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the pathogenic yeasts Candida spp. species.
The three distinct approaches we use in the lab are:
- Experimental evolution of S. cerevisiae to determine how changes in histone proteins, the building blocks of eukaryotic chromatin, influences the ability of this yeast to adapt to novel environments.
- Reverse genetics (CRISPR-Cas9) of the human pathogen Candida glabrata to ascertain the contribution of histone modification pathways to the emergence of virulent traits in this species, including phenotypic plasticity and anti-fungal resistance. (Figure 1)
- Comparative epigenomics of Candida spp. to probe the conservation of histone modification marks between human fungal pathogens.
The lab is currently accepting PhD applications in the field of antifungal resistance & tolerance.
Click here to apply
Figure 1: Theoretical epigenetic and genetic combination model to explain fungal growth and the evolution of antifungal resistance in the presence of high concentration of antiungal drug. Taken from O'Kane et al, 2020 Journal of Fungi
2015-present:Lecturer in Biochemistry, Queen’s University Belfast (UK)
2014-2015:Postdoctoral Fellow in Bioinformatics, Dr. Mary O’Connell, Dublin City University (Ireland)
2009-2014: Charles A. King Postdoctoral Fellow in Bacterial Evolution, Prof Andrew Murray, Harvard University (USA)
2008-2009: Postdoctoral Fellow in Chromatin Biology, Prof Jef Boeke, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (USA)
2002-2008: PhD Student, Biochemistry Cell and Molecular Biology Program, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (USA) PhD Advisor: Prof Jef. Boeke. Thesis: “Probing the Multifaceted Functions of the S. cereviasie Nucleosome”
2001-2002: Visiting Research Fellow in Bacteriophage Biochemistry, Prof Charles C. Richardson, Harvard Medical School (USA)
1996-2000: Undergraduate in Biochemistry. Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)
I coordinate the following modules in the School of Biological Sciences :
Stage 2 Undergraduates: BIO2102 Experimental Biochemistry
MSc Post-graduates: BBC8039 Protein Structure & Function
I also teach on the following courses:
Stage 1 Undergraduates:
BIO1304 Molecular Basis of Life; Topics: Lipids & Carbohydrates, Clinical Biochemistry, Synthetic Biology, Drug design, Practical lab: Titration of an amino acid.
BIO1301 World of Microorganisms; Topic: Fungal Biology, Practical lab: Enumeration of microorganisms.
Stage 3 Undergaduates:
BIO3304 Biomolecules in Health & Disease; Topic: Chromatin Biology & Epigenetics
Expertise related to UN SDGs
In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):
Hyland, E. M., 30 Jul 2020, In: Journal of Fungi. 6, 3, 24 p., 121.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile1 Citation (Scopus)14 Downloads (Pure)
Hyland, E. M., Cormican, P., Moran, R. J., Webb, A. E., Lee, K. D., Hernandez, J., Prado-Martinez, J., Creevey, C. J., Aspden, J. L., McInerney, J. O., Marques-Bonet, T. & Mj, OC., 01 Sep 2019, In: Genome biology and evolution. 11, 9, p. 2678–2690
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile2 Citations (Scopus)69 Downloads (Pure)
Marshall, A., O’Connell, M. J. & Hyland, E. M., 08 Apr 2019, (Early online date) In: Access Microbiology. 1, 1A
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen Access
Hyland, E. M., 15 Mar 2019, (Early online date) In: Bioscience Reports.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile9 Citations (Scopus)129 Downloads (Pure)
Hyland, E. M., 27 Feb 2018, Medical Biochemistry. Baynes, J. & Dominiczak, M. (eds.). 5 ed. Elsevier, 12 p.
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Chapter