Featured Researcher – Megan Trotter, Ph.D. Candidate

Megan Trotter, Ph.D. Candidate
Human Genetics,Medical School
Faculty-Mentor – Dr. Sundeep Kalantry

Kalantry’s Lab


  • What are your research interests?
    I study epigenetic factors that influence X-chromosome inactivation. X-inactivation takes place in female mammals to equalize X-linked gene expression to that of males. However, even in cells that have undergone X-inactivation, there is still expression of some “escape” genes from the inactive X-chromosome. I am interested in an escape gene called Kdm5c. The higher expression of Kdm5c in females compared to males even after X-chromosome inactivation suggests that it plays a role in a female-specific process such as X-inactivation itself. Understanding the role of KDM5C in X-inactivation will help us to uncover potential therapies for females with X-linked genetic disorders.


  • How does RNA relate to your research interests, and why?
    By monitoring RNA expression from the inactive X-chromosome via RNA-sequencing, I can determine if genes are reactivated on the inactive-X in the absence of Kdm5c. Monitoring RNA expression is essential to helping me to understand mechanisms of X-inactivation maintenance.


  • Is there a layman image that could illustrate your research?
  • How did you become interested in this topic?
    I’ve always been interested in the clinical implications of genetics research. I became interested in this topic because I want to better understand maintenance of X-inactivation so that I can uncover potential therapies for X-linked genetic disorders.


  • Who/what brought you to science? 
    My 7th grade science teacher got me interested in biology, and genetics in particular. I have wanted to study molecular genetics and genetic disorders ever since!


  • What brought you to the University of Michigan?
    I was drawn to the University of Michigan because of the variety of labs I could join. I entered as a PIBS student and enjoyed being able to rotate in different labs during my first year.


  • What are the main challenges/concerns to achieve your professional goals?
    I’d say my biggest challenge right now is trying to regain normalcy during the COVID-19 pandemic. But Zoom has allowed me to meet with professionals in different fields virtually! So, I am able to connect and learn about careers in a new way.


  • What’s your favorite hobby?
    Crochet, sports, and reading!


In 2019, the Center organized a Scientific Image Contest where Megan Trotter won the first prize for this image:

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