Michael Wolfe

Position title: Postdoctoral Researcher

Email: mwolfe6@wisc.edu

Phone: 608-265-8709

B.S. 2014, Biomedical Engineering
The Ohio State University
M.S. 2019, Bioinformatics
University of Michigan
Ph.D. 2019, Biochemistry
University of Michigan
headshot of Mike Wolfe

I was born in Canton, Ohio but consider myself a Texan, as I grew up and attended high school in Plano, Texas—a large suburb of Dallas. After high school, I moved back to Ohio to pursue an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering at The Ohio State University. While studying at Ohio State, I applied for and was accepted into the Beckman Scholars Program to pursue an independent undergraduate research project in the lab of Dr. Jane Jackman. In Dr. Jackman’s lab, my work focused on characterizing the in vitro and in vivo activity of multimer-disrupting variants of a key modification enzyme that acts on tRNAHis to add a G-1 to the 5′ end of the nascent tRNA that is required for proper recognition by the cognate HisRS in most species across all three domains of life. It was in this lab that I first fell in love with basic research, RNA, and protein-nucleic acid interactions.

After I completed my undergraduate degree, I went on to pursue a PhD in Biological Chemistry at the University of Michigan. At Michigan, I worked under the direction of Dr. Peter Freddolino to use a combination of high throughput sequencing, statistical modeling, and the development of custom software to probe the global interactions of proteins and nucleic acids and how they relate to gene regulation. While funded as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, I pursued three lines of work, including 1) characterizing the regulatory network of a global regulatory factor in E. coli (link), 2) determining general features associated with the transcriptional propensity of a standardized reporter integrated randomly at an average resolution of 41 bp across the E. coli genome (link), and 3) analyzing high-throughput data sets of mixed data types to better understand post-transcriptional regulation mediated by the human RNA binding proteins Pum1 and Pum2 (link; additional manuscript in preparation). This work also prompted me to pursue a Master of Science degree in Bioinformatics simultaneously with my PhD. Through my work in the Freddolino lab, I developed a passion for statistics, data visualization, and computer science as tools to help me efficiently extract meaningful information from large datasets.

Currently, I am a postdoctoral research associate in Dr. Robert Landick’s lab. In this role, I am working to combine my previous experience both in the wet lab and at the computer to better understand the complex interplay between transcription-coupled supercoiling, bacterial architectural proteins, and R-loop formation in bacteria.

Outside of the lab, I enjoy watching movies, playing board games and trivia, camping, traveling, and spending time with my family.