Cecilia G. Conaco, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor 

Ph.D. Molecular and Cellular Biology 
Stony Brook University, U.S.A.

Research Interests: 
Cecilia is fascinated by neuronal development and early animal evolution. She is also interested in the regulatory networks that control gene expression dynamics underlying the ability of many marine organisms to rapidly respond and adapt to their environment.

Selected Publications:
  • Guzman C and Conaco C. 2016. Gene expression dynamics accompanying the sponge thermal stress response. PLoS ONE. 11(10): e0165368. 
  • Da-Anoy J, Villanueva RD, Cabaitan C, Conaco C. 2017. Effects of coral extracts on survivorship, swimming behavior, and settlement of Pocillopora damicornis larvae. JEMBE 486:93-97. 
  • Conaco C, Tsoulfas P, Sakarya O, Dolan A, Werren J, Kosik KS. 2016. Detection of prokaryotic genes in the Amphimedon queenslandica genome. PLoS ONE. R50002. 
  • Guzman C and Conaco C. 2016. Comparative transcriptome analysis reveals insights into the streamlined genomes of haplosclerid demosponges. Scientific Reports. 5:18774. DOI: 10.1038/srep18774. 
  • Conaco C, Neveu P, Zhou H, Arcila ML, Degnan SM, Degnan BM, Kosik KS. 2012. Transcriptome profiling of the demosponge Amphimedon queenslandica reveals genomewide events that accompany major life cycle transitions. BMC Genomics. 13:209. 
  • Conaco C, Bassett DS, Zhou H, Arcila ML, Degnan SM, Degnan BM, Kosik KS. 2012. Functionalization of a proto-synaptic gene expression network. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 109 Suppl 1:10612-8. 
  • Srivastava M, Simakov O, Chapman J, Fahey B, Gauthier MAE, Mitros T, Richards GS, Conaco C, Dacre M, Hellsten U, Larroux C, Putnam NH, Stanke M, Adamska M, Darling A, Degnan SM, Oakley TH, Plachetzki DC, Zhai Y, Adamski M, Calcino A, Cummins SF, Goodstein DM, Harris C, Jackson DJ, Leys SP, Shu S, Woodcroft BJ, Vervoort M, Kosik KS, Manning G, Degnan BM, Rokhsar DS. 2010. The Amphimedon queenslandica genome and the evolution of animal complexity. Nature. 466(7307):720-6. 
  • Sakarya O, Conaco C, Egecioglu O, Solla SA, Oakley TH, Kosik KS. 2010. Evolutionary expansion and specialization of the PDZ domains. Mol. Biol. Evol. 27(5):1058-69. 
  • Karginov FV, Conaco C, Xuan Z, Schmidt BH, Parker JS, Mandel G, Hannon GJ. 2007. A biochemical approach to identifying microRNA targets. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 104(49): 19291-19296. 
  • Otto SJ, McCorkle SR, Hover J, Conaco C, Han JJ, Impey S, Yochum GS, Dunn JJ, Goodman RH, Mandel G. 2007. A new binding motif for the transcriptional repressor REST uncovers large gene networks devoted to neuronal functions. J Neurosci. 27(25):6729-39.

MS Students

Baquiran, Jake Ivan

Gajigan, Andrian

Nada, Michael Angelo

Ravelo, Stephanie Faith

Graduated Advisees:

MS Students

Leomir Diaz

Thesis: Influence of Thermal Stress on a Coral-associated Bacterial Community, 2015