Honors & Awards

  • NSF-GRFP, National Science Foundation (06/08-06/11)

Professional Education

  • Bachelor of Science, Santa Clara University (2004)
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of California Berkeley (2012)

Stanford Advisors

Community and International Work

  • SACNAS Outreach


    Diversity in Science

    Partnering Organization(s)




    Ongoing Project


    Opportunities for Student Involvement


Research & Scholarship

Lab Affiliations


All Publications

  • Illuminating p53 function in cancer with genetically engineered mouse models SEMINARS IN CELL & DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY Garcia, P. B., Attardi, L. D. 2014; 27: 74-85
  • miR290-5p/292-5p Activate the Immunoglobulin kappa Locus in B Cell Development PLOS ONE Garcia, P. B., Cai, A., Bates, J. G., Nolla, H., Schlissel, M. S. 2012; 7 (8)


    Regulated expression of miRNAs influences development in a wide variety of contexts. We report here that miR290-5p (100049710) and miR292-5p (100049711) are induced at the pre-B stage of murine B cell development and that they influence assembly of the Ig? light chain gene (243469) by contributing to the activation of germline Ig? transcription (?GT). We found that upon forced over-expression of miR290-5p/292-5p in Abelson Murine Leukemia Virus (AMuLV) transformed pro-B cells, two known activators of ?GT, E2A (21423) and NF-?B (19697), show increased chromosomal binding to the kappa intronic enhancer. Conversely, knockdown of miR290-5p/292-5p in AMuLV pro-B cells blunts drug-induced activation of ?GT. Furthermore, miR290-5p/292-5p knockdown also diminishes ?GT activation, but not Rag1/2 (19373, 19374) expression, in an IL-7 dependent primary pro-B cell culture system. In addition, we identified a deficiency in ?GT induction in miR290 cluster knockout mice. We hypothesize that increased expression of miR290-5p and miR292-5p contributes to the induction of ?GT at the pre-B stage of B cell development through increased binding of NF-?B and E2A to kappa locus regulatory sequences.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0043805

    View details for Web of Science ID 000308224700026

    View details for PubMedID 22928038

  • Extensive Gene-Specific Translational Reprogramming in a Model of B Cell Differentiation and Abl-Dependent Transformation PLOS ONE Bates, J. G., Salzman, J., May, D., Garcia, P. B., Hogan, G. J., McIntosh, M., Schlissel, M. S., Brown, P. O. 2012; 7 (5)


    To what extent might the regulation of translation contribute to differentiation programs, or to the molecular pathogenesis of cancer? Pre-B cells transformed with the viral oncogene v-Abl are suspended in an immortalized, cycling state that mimics leukemias with a BCR-ABL1 translocation, such as Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) and Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Inhibition of the oncogenic Abl kinase with imatinib reverses transformation, allowing progression to the next stage of B cell development. We employed a genome-wide polysome profiling assay called Gradient Encoding to investigate the extent and potential contribution of translational regulation to transformation and differentiation in v-Abl-transformed pre-B cells. Over half of the significantly translationally regulated genes did not change significantly at the level of mRNA abundance, revealing biology that might have been missed by measuring changes in transcript abundance alone. We found extensive, gene-specific changes in translation affecting genes with known roles in B cell signaling and differentiation, cancerous transformation, and cytoskeletal reorganization potentially affecting adhesion. These results highlight a major role for gene-specific translational regulation in remodeling the gene expression program in differentiation and malignant transformation.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0037108

    View details for Web of Science ID 000305338500030

    View details for PubMedID 22693568

  • Oct transcription factors mediate t(14;18) lymphoma cell survival by directly regulating bcl-2 expression ONCOGENE Heckman, C. A., Duan, H., Garcia, P. B., Boxer, L. M. 2006; 25 (6): 888-898


    Oct-1 and Oct-2 are members of the POU homeodomain family of transcriptional regulators and are critical for normal embryonic development. Gene-targeting studies showed that Oct-1 and Oct-2 are largely dispensable for B-cell development and immunoglobulin production, although both Oct-2 and Bob-1 are required for a proper immune response and germinal center formation. In these studies, we investigated the role of Oct factors in B-cell lymphomas. Recent investigations have shown increased expression of Oct-2 and Bob-1 in lymphomas, and we observed greatly increased levels of Oct-2 in lymphoma cells with the t(14;18) translocation. Decreased expression of Oct-1, Oct-2, or Bob-1 by RNA interference resulted in apoptosis and down-regulation of bcl-2 expression. Furthermore, Oct-2 induced bcl-2 promoter activity and mediated this effect through three regions in the bcl-2 P2 promoter. Although these regions did not contain canonical octamer motifs, we observed the direct interaction of Oct-2 with all three sites both in vitro by EMSA and in vivo by chromatin immunoprecipitation assay. Moreover, by mutation analysis we found that the ability of Oct-2 to activate bcl-2 required C/EBP, Cdx, and TATA-binding sites. Oct-2, therefore, acts as a cell survival factor in t(14;18) lymphoma cells by directly activating the antiapoptotic gene bcl-2.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/sj.onc.1209127

    View details for Web of Science ID 000235212700008

    View details for PubMedID 16186795

  • Analysis of non-template-directed nucleotide addition and template switching by DNA polymerase BIOCHEMISTRY Garcia, P. B., Robledo, N. L., Islas, A. L. 2004; 43 (51): 16515-16524


    DNA polymerases use an uninterrupted template strand to direct synthesis of DNA. However, some DNA polymerases can synthesize DNA across two discontinuous templates by binding and juxtaposing them, resulting in synthesis across the junction. Primer/template duplexes with 3' overhangs are especially efficient substrates, suggesting that DNA polymerases use the overhangs as regions of microhomology for template synapsis. The formation of these overhangs may be the result of non-template-directed nucleotide addition by DNA polymerases. To examine the relative magnitude and mechanism of template switching, we studied the in vitro enzyme kinetics of template switching and non-template-directed nucleotide addition by the 3'-5' exonuclease-deficient large fragment of Escherichia coli DNA polymerase I. Non-template-directed nucleotide addition and template switching were compared to that of standard primer extension. We found that non-template-directed nucleotide addition and template switching showed similar rates and were approximately 100-fold slower than normal template-directed DNA synthesis. Furthermore, non-template-directed nucleotide addition showed a 10-fold preference for adding dAMP to the ends of DNA over that of the other three nucleotides. For template switching, kinetic analysis revealed that the two template substrates acted as a random bireactant system with mixed-type inhibition of substrate binding by one substrate over the other. These data are the first to establish the binding kinetics of two discontinuous DNA substrates to a single DNA polymerase. Our results suggest that although the activities are relatively weak, non-template-directed nucleotide addition and template switching allow DNA polymerases to overcome breaks in the template strand in an error-prone manner.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/bi0491853

    View details for Web of Science ID 000225937700054

    View details for PubMedID 15610046

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