CV

EDUCATION

2019 | University of Chicago, Biological Sciences Division, Chicago, IL
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Master of Science (M.S.), Committee on Genetics, Genomics, & Systems Biology

Mentor: Douglas Bishop, Ph.D., Department of Radiation & Cellular Oncology
Committee: Jonathan Staley (Chair), Ph.D., Benjamin Glick, Ph.D., Phoebe Rice, Ph.D.

2012 | Carleton College, Northfield, MN
Bachelor of Arts in Biology, cum laude

RESEARCH EXPERIENCE

2020-present | Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA

Postdoctoral research project aims to define the mechanism of heteroduplex rejection in Saccharomyces cerevisiae using pathway analysis and in vitro reconstitution experiments, and to understand the clinical implications of loss of heteroduplex rejection in patients with mutations in the mismatch repair factors MSH2 and MSH6

Mentor: Wolf-Dietrich Heyer, Ph.D., Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics

2013-2020 | Graduate Researcher, Laboratory of Douglas Bishop, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Thesis project aimed to determine the role and biological mechanism of Mei5-Sae3- and Rad51-mediated stimulation of Dmc1 during meiotic homologous recombination using a combination of molecular genetics, cytology, and biochemistry in the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Mentor: Douglas Bishop, Ph.D., Department of Radiation & Cellular Oncology

2011 | Research Fellow, National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, Bethesda, MD

Carried out an independent project on long-range enhancer-promoter interactions using the engrailed and invected enhancers in Drosophila melanogaster as a model

Mentor: Judith Kassis, Ph.D., Section on Gene Expression

2008-2010 | Research Assistant, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL

Examined the effects of habitat fragmentation on mating patterns in the long-lived prairie plant Echinacea angustifolia using microsatellite mapping

Mentors: Jennifer Ison, Ph.D., Stuart Wagenius, Ph.D.

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

2020 | Professors for the Future Guest Lecturer, Host-Parasite Interactions (Undergraduate), University of California, Davis

  • Course explores host-parasite interactions, with an emphasis on medically relevant human parasites and their impact on global health
  • Developed and presented two lectures on parasitic fungi
  • Wrote quiz and exam questions
  • Involved in student assessment and feedback

2018 | Teaching Assistant, Genetic Analysis of Model Organisms (Graduate and Undergraduate), University of Chicago

  • Course teaches key principles of genetic analysis in S. cerevisiae, D. melanogaster, C. elegans, and M. musculus
  • Led weekly discussion sections on a piece of primary literature
  • Worked with students one-on-one and in small groups
  • Involved in student assessment and feedback

2017 | Teaching Assistant, Leadership Alliance Summer Research Early Identification Program, University of Chicago

  • Summer research program for undergraduate students founded to increase the participation of underrepresented minorities in advanced degree programs
  • Each student works with a different faculty adviser to carry out an independent research project, present a talk on their findings, and write a formal report
  • Worked with all students in science disciplines (biology, chemistry, and physics)
  • Met with each student one-on-one on a weekly basis to help them develop their research proposals and build confidence in their work and scientific reasoning skills
  • Participated in and helped to develop activities for the students’ weekly group meetings

2016 | Teaching Assistant, Molecular Biology of the Cell (Undergraduate), University of Chicago

  • Course is an introduction to molecular biology for advanced incoming students
  • Led weekly discussion sections on a piece of primary literature that was connected to the concepts students had learned in lecture, teaching students skills such as data analysis, the scientific method, and critical thinking
  • Worked with students one-on-one and in small groups
  • Involved in student assessment and feedback

2014 | Teaching Assistant, Molecular Biology II (Graduate), University of Chicago

  • Advanced course for graduate students
  • Worked one-on-one with students to help them develop research proposals
  • Led weekly discussion sections on several related pieces of primary literature, with a focus on critical thinking with regards to data collection methods and interpretation
  • Involved in student assessment and feedback

2012 | Laboratory Teaching Assistant, Cell Biology (Undergraduate), Carleton College

  • Guided students through a term-long research project that highlighted many methods in cell and molecular biology using Tetrahymena as a model system
  • Mentored students as they developed scientific reports on their findings

2011 | Laboratory Teaching Assistant, Energy Flow in Biological Sytems (Undergraduate) Carleton College

  • Helped students gain familiarity with fundamental biological methods, develop basic analytical skills, and learn how to communicate their findings in formal reports

MENTORING EXPERIENCE

Priti Nandedkar (Biotechnology Major, University of California, Davis)

Thi Lan Chi Nguyen (Cell Biology, University of California, Davis)

PUBLICATIONS

Reitz, D., Chan, Y.-L., and Bishop, D.K. (2021) How Strand Exchange Protein Function Benefits From ATP Hydrolysis. Current Opinion in Genetics and Development 71, 120-128. (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gde.2021.06.016)

Reitz, D. (2020) Meiotic recombination pathways. eLS 1, 762-773.(https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470015902.a0029228)

Reitz, D., Grubb, J. and Bishop, D.K. (2019) A mutant form of Dmc1 that bypasses the requirement for accessory protein Mei5-Sae3 reveals independent activities of Mei5-Sae3 and Rad51 in Dmc1 filament stability. PLoS Genetics 15, e1008217. (https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1008217)

Ison, J.L., Wagenius, S., Reitz, D., and Ashley, M.V. (2014). Mating between Echinacea angustifolia (Asteraceae) individuals increases with their flowering synchrony and spatial proximity. American Journal of Botany 101, 180–189. (https://doi.org/10.3732/ajb.1300065)

Ison, J.L., Wagenius, S., Reitz, D., and Ashley, M.V. (2013). Development and Evaluation of Microsatellite Markers for a Native Prairie Perennial, Echinacea angustifolia (Asteraceae). Applications in Plant Sciences 1, 1300049–3. (https://doi.org/10.3732/apps.1300049)

AWARDS & FELLOWSHIPS

2021 | A.P. Giannini Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship and Leadership Award Program

2020 | Oncogenic Signals and Chromosome Biology Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

2018 | University of Chicago Graduate Council Travel Fund Award

  • Supported travel to Gordon Meiosis Research Seminar and Conference

2018 | Biological Sciences Division Semi-Annual Travel Award

  • Supported travel to the Abcam Mechanisms of Recombination Meeting

2017 | Honorable Mention, Biological Sciences Division Teaching Assistant Prize

  • One award and two honorable mentions are made to graduate students that have served as teaching assistants for any class in the University of Chicago Biological Sciences Division each academic year
  • Awards are chosen based on the faculty’s review of the teaching assistant’s performance and questionnaires completed by the course’s students

2013-2015 | University of Chicago Genetics and Regulation Training Grant

2011 | NIH Summer Student Intramural Research Training Award Fellowship

  • Awarded by the National Institutes of Health
  • Supported summer research internship with Judith Kassis, Ph.D.

2009 | Kolenkow-Reitz Fellowship for Undergraduate Research

  • Funded by David Ignat and awarded by Carleton College
  • Supported research assistantship with Stuart Wagenius, Ph.D.

PRESENTATIONS

2020 | Oral Presentation, Meiosis in Quarantine (replaced Gordon Meiosis Conference)

Title: The role of Dmc1 accessory factors Mei5-Sae3 and Rad51 in filament formation and regulation of filament length
Authors: Diedre Reitz, Douglas Bishop

2019 | Poster Presentation, FASEB Genetic Recombination & Genome Rearrangement Meeting, Steamboat Springs, CO

Title: A Dmc1 mutant reveals distinct regulatory activities of Dmc1 accessory factors Mei5-Sae3 and Rad51 and provides insight into multi-invasion events
Authors: Diedre Reitz, Yuen-Ling Chan, Jennifer Grubb, Douglas Bishop

2018 | Oral Presentation, Gordon Meiosis Research Seminar, New London, NH

Title: A gain-of-function DMC1 allele reveals distinct mechanisms of stimulation by the Dmc1 accessory factors Mei5-Sae3 and Rad51
Authors: Diedre Reitz, Douglas Bishop

2018 | Oral Presentation, British Meiosis Meeting, Brighton, UK

Title: A gain-of-function DMC1 allele reveals distinct mechanisms of stimulation by the Dmc1 accessory factors Mei5-Sae3 and Rad51
Authors: Diedre Reitz, Douglas Bishop

2018 | Poster Presentation, Abcam Mechanisms of Recombination, London, UK

Title: A gain-of-function DMC1 allele that bypasses the requirement for the accessory protein Mei5-Sae3
Authors: Diedre Reitz, Douglas Bishop

2017 | Oral Presentation, University of Chicago Molecular Biosciences Retreat, Galena, IL

Title: Interrogating the function of the Dmc1 accessory factor Mei5-Sae3 using a gain-of-function DMC1 allele
Authors: Diedre Reitz, Douglas Bishop

2017 | Poster Presentation, FASEB Genetic Recombination & Genome Rearrangement Meeting, Steamboat Springs, CO

Title: A gain-of-function DMC1 allele that bypasses the requirement for the accessory protein Mei5-Sae3
Authors: Diedre Reitz, Douglas Bishop

2011 | Poster Presentation, NIH Summer Poster Day, Bethesda, MD

Title: Role of an en regulatory sequence in long-range enhancer promoter interactions
Authors: Diedre Reitz, Judith Kassis

2010 | Oral Presentation, Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference, Ames, IA

Title: Reproductive effects of burning in Echinacea angustifolia
Authors: Diedre Reitz, Jennifer Ison, Stuart Wagenius

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

2019 | Certificate in College Teaching, Chicago Center for Teaching

  • Certificate program has three main components: pedagogical training, practice and feedback, and documentation of teaching
  • Teaching portfolio is available by request

2017 | Course Design and College Teaching, Chicago Center for Teaching

  • Advanced class that met biweekly to discuss teaching methods, student engagement, evaluation, and subject-specific teaching strategies
  • Final project consisted of designing and presenting an interactive lecture and in-class activity for students in an undergraduate introductory biology class

2016 | Fundamentals of Teaching in Biological & Physical Sciences, Chicago Center for Teaching

  • Introductory teaching course with a focus on teaching in the sciences

2016 | Entering Mentoring, Chicago Center for Teaching

  • Class focused on developing mentorship skills for graduate students and post-doctoral scientists

COMMUNITY OUTREACH

2020-present | Volunteer, Girls’ Outdoor Adventure in Leadership and Science (GOALS)

2017-2018 | In-Kind Donations Chair, Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) Chicago

EYH Chicago is a non-for-profit whose mission it is to empower young 6th, 7th, and 8thgrade girls to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM)
EYH Chicago hosts an annual conference for ~300 girls and their parents that includes hands-on activities for students led by positive female role models and a parental education program regarding career paths, the college application process, and financial aid

Leading a team that involved ~10 committee members, I helped to raise over $5000 worth of in-kind donations to use in goodie bags for the students, as raffle prizes, and for the lunch for the over 500 students, their parents and the EYH volunteers

2016-2017 | Organizing Committee Member, EYH Chicago

Primary responsibilities involved working with Chicago-area businesses and organizations to solicit in-kind donations for our one-day conference, and ultimately coordinating the lunch for the over 500 students, their parents, and the EYH volunteers

2017 | Community Center Volunteer, @rtifice

Artifice is a non-profit community technology center in the Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago, IL that serves underprivileged junior high school-aged students
Mission is to provide students with hands-on experience in science and math, and to help them develop skills related to use of technology
Volunteered weekly to open the Artifice Community Center to students after school and to help them develop confidence in their math and science abilities through student-led hands-on projects and homework tutoring

2017 | Judge, Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium

DEPARTMENT SERVICE

2021 | Course Organizer, Seminar in Molecular Genetics (GGG 295), University of California, Davis

  • Weekly seminar series open to the public hosted by the Integrated Genetics & Genomics Graduate Group

2013-2015 | Organizer, Graduate Student Seminar, Biological Sciences Division, University of Chicago

  • Weekly seminar series led and given by graduate students
  • Worked with several other organizers to plan the weekly seminar and recruit speakers

2013-2014 | Student Representative, Committee on Genetics, Genomics, & Systems Biology, University of Chicago

  • Student representatives are involved in the planning and organization many of the departmental functions, including incoming student orientation, the annual Molecular Biosciences retreat, graduate student recruitment, and the weekly seminar series

2011-2012 | Co-director, Biology Department Journal Club, Carleton College

  • Motivated by our experiences as summer research interns, another student and I founded the Biology Department Journal Club as a means of reading and discussing primary literature with fellow classmates and our professors
  • Organized the weekly meetings, including choosing the paper to discuss and leading the weekly discussions

PEER REVIEW

2020 | Peer Reviewer, Nature

  • Participated in peer review for Nature with my postdoctoral mentor, Wolf-Dietrich Heyer, Ph.D.

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

2017-Present | Member, Genetics Society of America

2011-Present | Member, Sigma Xi Research Society