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DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY
 
 

• Bin Chen (MCD) Mammalian Brain Development
• Dave Feldheim (MCD) The Generation of Neural Connections
• Camilla Forsberg (BME) How Stem Cell Fate Is Decided
• Grant Hartzog (MCD) How Chromatin Influences Transcription
• Lindsay Hinck (MCD) Building an Organ
• Joel Kubby (EE) Applications of Adaptive Optics for Biological Microscopy
• Bill Saxton (MCD) Organelle Transport and Neurodegeneration
• Susan Strome (MCD) Regulation of Germ Cell Development in C. elegans
• Bill Sullivan (MCD) The Cell Cycle, Cytoskeleton and Pathogenesis
• John Tamkun (MCD) Regulation of Chromatin Structure and Gene Expression
• Zhu Wang (MCD) Prostate Organ Development and Homeostasis
• Fitnat Yildiz (METX) Ex-vivo Survival Mechanisms Used by Vibrio cholerae between Epidemics
• Yi Zuo(MCD) Synapse plasticity and learning/Memory

Bin ChenMammalian Brain Development

Bin Chen , Dept. MCD Biology

Proper generation of different neuronal subtypes in the cerebral cortex and their precise wiring into functional neural circuits underlie our most sophisticated cognitive and perceptual abilities. When this process goes awry, neurological disorders, such as schizophrenia, depression, and obsessive compulsive behavior, can arise. Research in the Chen laboratory is focused on the molecular mechanisms that regulate the neural stem cells to generate different types of neurons and determining how they are wired into functional neural circuits. Neurons in the cerebral cortex are organized into 6 layers. Within each layer, neurons ..... [More]

Bin Chen's Publications
Bin Chen's Email

Prof. David Feldheim

The Generation of Neural Connections

David Feldheim, Dept. of MCD Biology

The mammalian brain contains billions of neurons that make even more billions of synaptic connections. These connections allow us to perceive the outside world, and are the framework for higher cognitive functions, such as learning, memory, thought and emotion. In addition, perturbations in patterns of synaptic connections underlie psychiatric, neurological and developmental disorders in humans. The Feldheim lab is interested in understanding how neural connections are generated during development. They find that both genes (nature) and neural activity (nurture) are used to form these connections during development. [More]

Feldheim Publications
Dave Feldheim's E-mail

Prof Camilla ForsgergHow Stem Cell Fate Is Decided

Camilla Forsberg, Dept. of Biomolecular Engineering

Camila Forsberg's research group focuses on stem cell fate decisions that give rise to variant blood cell types. Are such decisions made by the stem cell itself, by its descendant multipotent progenitors, or both? To answer such questions, Forsberg's group conducts molecular lineage tracing of HSC differentiation in vivo. In order to elucidate the mechanisms of fate decisions, they employ global analyses, such as genome-wide gene expression analysis and chromatin remodeling assays. The ultimate goal of this research is to facilitate our ability to direct specific fates and improve clinical applications of hematopoietic and non-hematopoietic stem cell therapy. [More]

Forsberg Publications Camilla Forsberg's Email

Prof Grant HartzogHow Chromatin Influences Transcription

Grant Hartzog, Dept. of MCD Biology

Grant Hartzog's laboratory investigates the roles of proteins that regulate the rate of transcription elongation - i.e. how quickly RNA polymerases travel along and transcribe genes into RNA. Many normal cellular genes are known to be regulated at the level of elongation, and the HIV virus specifically co-opts normal transcription elongation factors to regulate its own replication. Thus, understanding how transcription elongation is controlled is important for an understanding of both normal and abnormal gene expression. [More]


Prof Lindsay HinckBuilding an organ

Lindsay Hinck , Dept. MCD Biology

The mammary gland is an elaborate tree-like epithelial structure, comprising an outer layer of myoepithelial cells and an inner layer of secretory luminal epithelial cells. We discovered new roles for Slit2 and Netrin1 in mediating the interactions between these two epithelial cell layers. Now we are investigating how these cues signal through their respective receptors to generate cell contact that is at once flexible and strong.  [More]

Hinck Publications Lindsay Hinck's Email

Prof Joel KubbyApplications of Adaptive Optics for Biological Microscopy

Joel Kubby, Dept. of Electrical Engineering

Professor Joel Kubby is collaborating with engineers, physicists and biologists to utilize Adaptive Optics for the improvement of deep tissue imaging of living cells. Current biological microscopy is incapable of obtaining high quality live imaging in samples greater than 30 microns beneath the plasma membrane, where many critical cellular processes occur. Much of the degradation in image quality is the result of local differences in the refractive index, both within the sample and between the sample and the immersion lens. Adaptive optics was first used to correct for image aberrations in astronomical imaging. Kubby and his collaborators have shown that the same principles that improved resolution in telescopes can be adapted to improve wide-field, confocal, two-photon, super-resolution and spinning disk microscopy systems that are crucial for biological research. [More]
Kubby Publications Joel Kubby's Email

Prof Bill SaxtonOrganelle Transport and Neurodegeneration

Bill Saxton, Dept. MCD Biology

The Saxton lab studies mechanisms that drive intracellular transport and cytoplasmic organization, using Drosophila as a model organism. To generate and maintain proper cytoplasmic order and thus their complex functions, cells use microtubules and force-generating motor proteins to transport RNAs, proteins, mitochondria and other organelles to appropriate locations. Neurons are especially dependent on such microtubule-based cytoplasmic transport, because their signaling functions rely on extraordinarily long cytoplasmic extensions (axons and dendrites) that require import of many components from their cell bodies ..... [More]


Prof Susan StromeRegulation of Germ Cell Development in C. elegans

Professor Susan Strome, MCD Biology

Germ cells (the cells that give rise to eggs and sperm) have special properties. Their immortality allows them to be perpetuated from generation to generation, and their totipotency allows them to generate all of the diverse cell types of the body in each generation. Our lab investigates the molecular mechanisms used by germ cells to establish and maintain their identity, immortality, and totipotency. We study germ cells in the model organism C. elegans using a wide variety of approaches, including genetics, imaging, molecular biology, biochemistry, and whole-genome microarray and sequencing technologies. Our current focus areas are transmission of chromatin states and control of gene expression in germ cells, and regulation of RNA metabolism by germline-specific cytoplasmic "P granules". [More]

Strome Publications Susan Strome's E-Mail

Prof Bill SullivanCell Cycle, Cytoskeleton and Pathogenesis

Bill Sullivan, Dept. of MCD Biology

The Sullivan lab uses the Drosophila embryo as a model system to investigate the mechanisms that drive furrow invagination during cytokinesis. Through a combination of cellular and molecular genetic approaches, the Sullivan group has showed that furrow formation requires coordinated cell cycle regulated and endocytic-based vesicle recruitment. These studies have also identified a new role for cell cycle checkpoints in coordinating the nuclear cycle with cytokinesis. More recently, the lab has applied these approaches toward understanding the mechanisms by which the widespread intracellular insect pathogen, Wolbachia, influences host nuclear and cytoplasmic cell cycles. [More]

Sullivan's Publications Bill Sullivan's E-Mail

Prof John TamkunRegulation of Chromatin Structure and Gene Expression

John Tamkun, Dept. of MCD Biology

The Tamkun lab investigates regulation of chromatin's high order structure and its role in gene expression. Composed of DNA and proteins, chromatin's ability to fold enables the eukaryotic genome to be packaged into an extremely small space inside the nucleus of the cell. Proper transcription and replication of the genome also depend upon precise regulation of these dynamic structures, with defects in these processes believed to underly many human diseases. [More]

Tamkun Publications John Tamkun's E-Mail

Prof Zhu WangProstate Organ Development and Homeostasis

Zhu Wang, Dept. of MCD Biology

The prostate gland is a multiple tubule-like structure in the male reproductive system, and is regulated by androgen. Repeated ablation and administration of testosterone results in cycles of prostate regression and regeneration, implying the existence of tissue stem cells. The two major cell types in the prostate epithelium are basal cells and secretory luminal cells. In vivo genetic lineage-tracing studies have identified luminal cells that express the transcription factor Nkx3.1 and rare basal cells in the regressed prostate in mediating organ regeneration. We are investigating the cellular lineage relationship and the molecular signalings involved in these processes. [More]

Wang Publications Zhu Wang's E-Mail

Prof Fitnat YildizEx-vivo Survival Mechanisms Used by Vibrio cholerae between Epidemics

Fitnat Yildiz, Dept. of Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology

Ex-vivo Survival Mechanisms used by Vibrio cholerae between Epidemics: Fitnat Yildiz's laboratory investigates signaling and regulatory networks of Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of the Asiatic cholera. She and her colleagues are particularly interested in those mechanisms that allow the pathogen to adapt to changes in its habitat. The bacteria's ability to survive in different growth modes in aquatic environments is closely linked to seasonal epidemics of cholera. Yildiz's laboratory is attempting to identify and characterize genes and processes associated with phase variations of the pathogen. Their results will be useful for prediction and control of epidemics of this devastating disease. [More]

Yildiz Publications Fitnat Yildiz's E-Mail

Prof Yi ZuoSynapse Plasticity and Learning/Memory

Yi Zuo, Dept. of MCD Biology

The human brain is an extremely complicated organ, in which billions of neurons make trillions of connections. Synapses are the principal sites at which neurons communicate with one another. Experience-dependent modification of synaptic structure and function provides a cellular mechanism for learning and memory, while abnormal synaptic connections are hallmarks of many neurological and psychiatric disorders. My laboratory studies how the neuronal circuitry is rewired during learning and memory formation, and investigates the cellular mechanisms underlying structural changes of synapses under both physiological and pathological conditions. ( [More]
Zuo Publications Yi Zuo's E-Mail

 

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