Research

The research interests of the DRSB faculty cover a broad range of topics in modern developmental biology. We study developmental mechanisms at the cell, tissue, organ, organism and population level using both classic model systems such as mouse, zebrafish, chick, Drosophila, C. elegans, Arabidopsis, fission yeast and iPS cells, and less-traditional systems such as ascidians, cnidarians, cephalopods, non-model insects and non-model fishes. Students and postdocs working in DRSB labs learn to incorporate cutting edge genetic and cell biological experimental approaches into their research, including advanced imaging, quantitative modeling, genomics and stem cell engineering. Please explore the menu items below to learn more about the specific research interests of each of our training faculty.

 

Accordion: 
Cellular Dynamics of Development

Understanding the dynamic processes that shape cells and pattern tissues over time requires approaches that sit at the interface between cell and developmental biology. Our researchers who work in this area study: the cytoskeleton, cell polarization, cell compartments and signaling, cell-matrix interactions, cell migration, and tissue morphogenesis.

Richard Fehon

Michael Glotzer

Robert Ho

Sally Horne-Badovinac

David Kovar

Edwin Munro

Victoria Prince

Ilaria Rebay

Xiaoyang Wu

Development and Evolution

Understanding how developmental processes evolve is central to our understanding of biological form and diversity. Our “evo-devo” researchers use comparative approaches to study: the evolution of the insect body plan, the evolution of limbs using fishes and amphibians, the evolution of the brain and neural circuits, the evolution of the placenta in mammals, and the evolution of primates using induced pluripotent stem cells. 

Yoav Gilad

Robert Ho

Paschalis Kratsios

Bruce Lahn

Vincent Lynch

Cliff Ragsdale

Urs Schmidt-Ott

Neil Shubin

Neurodevelopment

Building the brain is arguably the most complex problem that embryonic development must solve. Our developmental neurobiologists study: early regionalization of the brain, specification of neuronal cell fates, the formation and function of neural circuits, and genetic defects that underlie neurodevelopmental disorders.

Robert Carillo

William Green

Elizabeth Grove

Elizabeth Heckscher

Robert Ho

Paschalis Kratsios

Bruce Lahn

Victoria Prince

Cliff Ragsdale

IIaria Rebay

Xiaochang Zhang

Regulatory Mechanisms in Development and Disease

Tissue development is under tight regulatory control, and defects in regulatory mechanisms underlie a variety of diseases. Our researchers working in this area study: cell cycle and growth control, cell differentiation, cell death, intercellular signaling, transcription/chromatin dynamics, and the function of tumor suppressor genes. This research has relevance to: cancer, heart disease, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and hemoglobinopathies.

John Cunningham

Jill de Jong

Wei Du

Richard Fehon

Yoav Gilad

Michael Glotzer

Sally Horne-Badovinac

Akira Imamoto

Ivan Moskowitz

Edwin Munro

Ilaria Rebay

Nancy Schwartz

Kevin White

Xiaoyang Wu

 

Stem Cells and Regeneration

Research on stem cells and regeneration is critical to our understanding of both normal tissue development and tissue renewal. It also holds great promise for the development of regenerative therapies. Our researchers working in this area study stem cells that give rise to the germline, hematopoietic system, nervous system, and skin, as well as how plants, cnidarians and cephalopods regenerate complex tissues after injury.

John Cunningham

Jill de Jong

Edwin Ferguson

Yoav Gilad

Elizabeth Heckscher

Bruce Lahn

Jocelyn Malamy

Cliff Ragsdale

Kevin White

Xiaoyang Wu

Xiaochang Zhang