Vinita Hajeri

Senior Lecturer I - Science/Math Education
vxh151030@utdallas.edu
972-883-6482
FN3308E

Professional Preparation

PhD - Molecular Biology
University of North Texas - 2008
Master of Science - Botany
University of Mumbai, India - 2001
Bachelor of Science - Botany
University of Mumbai, India - 1998

Research Areas

Senior Lecturer, Department of Science and Math Education, UT Dallas
  • Providing effective professional development to K-12 teachers with zebrafish to improve their effectiveness in teaching life sciences. 
  • Developing scientific protocols and apparatus to empower K-12 teachers in conducting cutting-edge experiments with limited resources.
  • Studying the impact of zebrafish in improving STEM knowledge and skills in a diverse classroom of English speaking and Hispanic English (ELL) learners.

Postdoctoral Researcher, UT Southwestern Medical Center
  • Identified novel genes involved in Germ Cell tumorigenesis by executing a forward genetic screen using the Sleeping Beauty transposon-mediated insertional mutagenesis strategy. 
  • Generated robust transgenic zebrafish models to identify the functional role of deregulated FGF signaling in Germ Cell tumor pathogenesis.

Graduate Research Assistant, University of North Texas
  • Used the nematode C. elegans as a model to identify the role of a specific nucleoporin NPP-16/Nup50 and CDK-1 in anoxia-induced prophase arrest.
  • Executed RNA mediated interference (RNAi) genetic screens, indirect immunofluorescence assays and in vivo live cell imaging to identify sub-cellular changes in anoxia-induced cell-cycle arrest.

Publications

Anoxia-Induced Suspended Animation in Caenorhabditis elegans  2012 - Book Chapter
Studying synthetic lethal interactions in the zebrafish system: insight into disease genes and disease mechanisms  2011 - Commentary
NPP-16/Nup50 Function and CDK-1 Inactivation is Associated with Prophase Arrest in C. elegans 2010 - Peer-reviewed journal article
Genetic Analysis of the Spindle Checkpoint Genes san-1, mdf-2, bub-3 and the CENP-F homolog hcp-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans  2008 - Peer-reviewed journal article
Characterization of sub-nuclear changes in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos exposed to brief, intermediate and long-term anoxia to analyze anoxia-induced cell cycle arrest  2005 - Peer-reviewed journal article

Appointments

Dean's Fellow Senior Lecturer
University Of Texas at Dallas [2015–Present]
Actively involved in teaching the next generation of K-12 teachers and currently serving teachers seeking the Masters of Art in Teaching (science education). • Designing and offering effective professional development for currently serving K-12 teachers to develop their content and scientific knowledge in life sciences. • Actively engaged in conducting research, identifying gaps in teachers’ competencies and developing new curricula materials to close the gap. • Coaching and training K-12 teachers in improving the STEM proficiency of K-12 learners. • Conducting teacher development workshops to disseminate effective curricula materials to science teachers nationwide.
Postdoctoral Researcher
UT Southwestern Medical Center [2010–2015]
Defined the molecular drivers of Germ Cell Tumors using Zebrafish as a model system. Identified novel genes involved in Germ Cell tumorigenesis by executing a forward genetic screen using the Sleeping Beauty transposon-mediated insertional mutagenesis strategy. Generated robust transgenic Zebrafish models to identify the functional role of deregulated FGF signaling in Germ Cell tumor pathogenesis. Conducting spatiotemporal and in vivo investigations using transgenic animals to identify the role of deregulated FGF signaling in germ cell tumor etiology.
Graduate Research Assistant
University Of North Texas [2003–2008]
Identified genes regulating anoxia-induced cell cycle arrest in Caenorhabditis elegans. Conducted RNA mediated interference (RNAi) genetic screens and in vivo live cell imaging to identify the role of a specific nucleoporin NPP-16/Nup50 and CDK-1 in anoxia-induced prophase arrest.

Activities

Senior Lecturer
Mentoring and Coaching local K-12 teachers to improve their effectiveness in STEM education
STARS Volunteer
Research Presentations to High School Students and Teachers