Skip to main content

Holly Kleinschmidt

BMMB Graduate Student - Bai Lab
Image of Holly Kleinschmidt
The Bai Lab

About Me

In 2019, I obtained B.S. degrees in Biochemistry and Environmental Science from Saint Louis University in my hometown of Saint Louis, Missouri. I joined Penn State’s BMMB Ph.D. program in August 2019, and in January 2020, I was welcomed into Dr. Lu Bai’s lab. I currently serve as the Vice-President of Penn State’s Graduate Women in Science chapter, and previously held a couple of leadership positions on the BMMB Graduate Student Association (GSA). In my free time, I enjoy hiking, playing video games, reading, playing with my cats, and cooking/baking.


Research Interest

In Dr. Lu Bai’s lab, I study the epigenetic factors that influence pioneer transcription factor binding in mammalian cells.


Research Summary

I am investigating the factors that influence pioneer transcription factor binding in mammalian cell lines using various approaches. Using in vitro techniques and a novel in vivo method developed by the lab called ChIP-ISO (Chromatin ImmunoPrecipitation using Integrated Synthetic Oligonucleotides), I am studying how chromatin environment, co-factor binding, motif strength, and other factors impact the binding of pioneer factors like FOXA1 in human cell cancer lines and OCT4/SOX2 in human embryonic cell lines. I also employ CRISPR-dCas9 technology to write repressive histone modifications to specific loci to observe the effect on pioneer transcription factor binding. Additionally, I perform computational analyses on published data to gather more information about the binding logic of pioneer factors.


Programs and Training Centers

  • The BMMB Graduate Program


Honors and Awards

  • Paul M. Althouse Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award

  • ACS Junior in Chemistry Award
  • Michael D. Barber, S.J. Chemistry Scholarship Award
  • Homer F. Braddock and Nellie H. and Oscar L. Roberts Fellowship
  • Paul & Harriet Campbell Distinguished Graduate Fellowship
  • Science Achievement Rosalind E. Franklin Graduate Scholarship in BMB
  • Eukaryotic Gene Regulation (EGR) Predoctoral Training Program Trainee