a strange experience to write a thesis. The experiments described herein
are much more than just descriptions of scientific investigations. They
are quite literally a history and chronicle of the past four and a half
years of my life. This book will exist as a vivid reminder of the people
I worked with, the people close to me, the events in my life and the
feelings that I had. Even as I write these acknowledgements, I’m
stirred by the memory of this journey. Although writing this thesis
was very much a solitary effort, there are many people who influenced
and shaped the course of this research, as well as shaping myself.
To begin, many thanks to Steve Bowley for taking on my research, providing
guidance and support, for giving me the chance to attend numerous conferences
and… oh yeah, for footing the bill. Thanks to Bryan McKersie,
Peter Pauls, Alan Wildeman and Eva Czarnecka-Verner, past and present
members of my advisory committee who guided me though this process.
Thank you to Eva Czarnecka-Verner and William Gurley, who opened their
lab and their homes to me over several months while working in their
lab at the University of Florida. Thanks to all the members of the Bowley
lab and friends in the department for their friendship, support and
help with many aspects of my research. I should also mention Dave Walden
who during my HBSc. took me under his wing, got me excited about genetics
and started me thinking like a scientist.
A special thanks to Heather Shearer, a great friend and colleague, who
helped me through the RNA-a-thon, a ridiculously large experiment that
could not have been completed alone.
To my parents, thanks for buying me that 2001 kit. Through your wisdom
and love, you set me on the path of knowledge and critical thinking,
which has had much to do with where I am today.
And to those closest to me during this trip, Matthew, David, Tommy,
Jake, Andrea, Jason and especially Leanne… a movie, a pint and
a really good laugh, thanks for keeping me alive!
I know this sounds more like a last will and testament… and in
a way maybe it is… may we always live in interesting times and
to reiterate what a wise man once wrote in my high school year book
“If you ever see a turtle on a fence post... you know it had some