Institute of Neuroscience Faculty
Professor, Department of Biology
B.S., 1966, Purdue
Ph.D., 1970, Case Western Reserve
Genetic regulation of animal development including development of the nervous system, the mechanisms of sex determination, the origin of novel morphologies in evolution and the evolution of the vertebrate genome.
Our laboratory is interested in the genetic, genomic, and evolutionary principles that guide animal development. We investigate several aspects of this main problem:
Genome Duplication: The evolution of gene functions in development after genome duplication, focusing on skeletal development.Fanconi anemia: A small molecule screen for compounds to rescue zebrafish Fanconi Anemia mutants as a way to identify potential therapeutics for human FA patients and to understand disease mechanisms.
- MicroRNAs: The roles of microRNAs in embryonic (especially skeletal) development, including evolving miRNA functions after genome duplication.
- Icefish: The genetic basis for the evolution of osteopenia or osteoporosis in Antarctic icefish.
- Sex determinaion:The developmental genetic basis for sex determination in zebrafish.
Speciation: The roles of genome duplication in lineage divergence, focusing on the evolution of cis and trans acting regulation in the radiation of the danio lineage, including zebrafish, and on variation among populations of stickleback.
- Oikopleura: Retaining a chordate body plan as an adult, the larvacean urochordate Oikopleura dioica represents the sister lineage to the vertebrates, diverging before the R1 and R2 rounds of genome duplication that led to the origin of vertebrate innovations.
- Perchlorate toxicity and sex determination: Perchlorate is a pervasive environmental contaminant that can cause partial sex reversal in stickleback. We are investigating the hypotheses that perchlorate alters sex development through the thyroid or a non-thyroidal mechanism.
Drosophila developmental genetics: Work on Drosophila homeotic mutants, pattern formation, and ovary development.