Sokolowski Lab

Sokolowski Lab

Genes, Environment & Behaviour

Maria Aristizabal

Previous Degrees and Positions

• Postdoctoral Fellow (University of British Columbia, 2015 – 2016). Supervisor: Michael S. Kobor.
• Ph.D. Genetics (University of British Columbia, 2008 – 2015). Supervisor: Michael K. Kobor.
• B.Sc. Honours in Biotechnology (University of British Columbia and British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2003)

Current Position

• Postdoctoral Fellow, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research

Project Title

Understanding the function and regulation of PKG, the protein encoded by the foraging gene

Research Interests

The for gene is conserved from insects to humans and encodes for a cGMP-dependent kinase (PKG). In flies for polymorphisms have been associated with differences in behavior, metabolism, stress resistance, and memory in relation to food availability. Despite being implicated in a number of biological processes, relatively little is known about the molecular function and regulation of PKG. My project aims to take advantage of my training in molecular biology to use mass spectrometry based methods to identify targets and regulatory partners of PKG.


• CIFAR post doctoral fellow – Child and Brain Development program (Jan 2016)
• Dobbin Scholarship – 7,000 (June 2012)
• Four Year Fellowships For PhD Students – (May 2010-May 2013)
• Child and Family Research Institute Graduate Studentship – 60,000 (May 2010)
• Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate – 105,000 (May 2010-May 2013)
• Research Methodology Training Grant – 3,000 (April 2010)
• University of British Columbia Dean’s Honours List – (Jan 2017 – Jan 2008)


• Steunou AL, Cramet M, Rossetto D, Aristizabal MJ, Lacoste N, Drouin S, Cote V, Paquet E, Utley R, Krogan NJ, Robert F, Kobor MS, Cote J. Combined action of histone reader modules regulates NuA4 local acetyltransferase function but not its recruitment on the genome. Mol Cell Biol. (Accepted)

• Aristizabal MJ, Kobor MS. (2016). A single flexible RNAPII-CTD integrates many different transcriptional programs. Transcription. 7(2):50-6.

• Aristizabal MA, Negri GL, Kobor MS. (2015). RNAPII-CTD maintains genome integrity through inhibition of retrotransposons gene expression and transposition. PLoS Genet. 11(10):e1005608.

• Chan YA, Aristizabal MJ*, Lu PY, Luo Z, Hamza A, Kobor MS, Stirling PC and Hieter P. (2014). Genome-wide profiling of yeast DNA:RNA hybrid prone sites with DRIP-chip. PLoS Genet. 10(4):e1004288. * equal first author contribution

• Leung GP, Aristizabal MJ*, Krogan NJ and Kobor MS. (2014). Conditional genetic interactions of RTT107, SLX4, and HRQ1 reveal dynamic networks upon DNA damage in S. cerevisiae. G3. 4(6):1059-69. *equal first author contribution

• Aristizabal MJ, Negri GL, Benschop JJ, Holstege FCP, Krogan NJ and Kobor MS. (2013). High-throughput Genetic and Gene Expression Analysis of the RNAPII-CTD Reveals Unexpected Connections to SRB10/CDK8. PLoS Genet. 9(8):e1003758.

• Stirling PC, Chan YA, Minaker SW, Aristizabal MJ, Barrett I, Sipahimalani P, Kobor, MS and Hieter P. (2011). R-loop mediated genome instability in mRNA cleavage and polyadenylation mutants. Genes Dev. 26(2):163-75.

• Wang AY, Aristizabal MJ, Ryan C, Krogan NJ, Kobor MS. (2011) Key functional regions in the histone variant H2A.Z C-terminal docking domain. Mol. Cell. Biol. 31(18):3871-84.

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