Genetics and Genome Sciences
Dr. Cotney received his undergraduate degree in Biology in 2002 from Birmingham-Southern College, where he studied the catalytic activities of acetylcholinesterase enzymes from amphioxus with Dr. Leo Pezzementi. He attended graduate school at Emory University in the program of Genetics and Molecular Biology completing his PhD in 2008. Under Dr. Gerald Shadel, he studied the roles of two human mitochondrial transcription factors, TFB1M and TFB2M, in mitochondrial transcription, translation, and retrograde signaling. Dr. Cotney performed postdoctoral work in the labs of Mike Snyder and James Noonan at Yale University. During is his time there Dr. Cotney developed techniques to apply ChIP-Seq and RNA-Seq technologies to very limiting embryonic tissue leading to the identification of tens of thousands of enhancers active in the developing limbs, brains, and craniofacial tissue of mouse, rhesus, and human. Dr. Cotney joined the Department of Genetics and Genome Sciences and the Institute for Systems Genomics at the University of Connecticut Health Center in 2015 and is focused on understanding long range gene regulation during mammalian development, understanding the evolution of enhancers, and deciphering combinatorial codes of chromatin regulators during neuronal development.