Dr. Elizabeth Raupach is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Jeffrey Trent, TGen President and Research Director, where she leads molecular biology research to understand how altered chromatin landscapes drive tumorigenesis.
Dr. Raupach earned a Magna Cum Laude Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire, where she studied organic synthetic chemistry in the laboratory of Dr. David Lewis. As a Bachelor’s student, Dr. Raupach was awarded the Chair’s Award for Outstanding Student Achievement, the CRC Freshman of the Year Award from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire, and a Hershey’s Bright Futures Scholarship from The Hershey Company.
Dr. Raupach studied RNA biology, transcription elongation, and chromatin regulation under the guidance of Dr. Karen Arndt during her doctoral training at the University of Pittsburgh. Her thesis work illuminated a mechanism of gene regulation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, in which transcription of an unstable non-coding RNA positively regulates expression of a neighboring protein-coding gene by altering histone post-translational modifications across its promoter. During her doctoral studies, Dr. Raupach received a graduate student fellowship from the Dietrich College of Arts and Sciences and the Stanton C. Crawford Award for Excellence as a Graduate Student Teaching Assistant from the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh.
In her current research, Dr. Raupach is studying the molecular alterations associated with loss of function mutations in subunits of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex observed in ovarian cancers. Dr. Raupach has characterized the altered SWI/SNF complex integrity and protein-protein interaction networks which illuminated a connection between SWI/SNF subunit mutations and altered RNA processing. Altered RNA processing could be a source of antigens in low mutation burden tumors, which may sensitize tumors to immune therapies and would suggest their use in ovarian cancer patients bearing SWI/SNF subunit mutations.
With the support of the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance, Dr. Raupach will further characterize these molecular events in an ovarian cancer subtype that is nearly universally driven by loss of function mutations in the catalytic subunit of the SWI/SNF complex.