Our research focuses on the molecules and mechanisms that govern epithelial polarity, cell shape, and organ morphogenesis. We also study tumor suppressor genes in Drosophila, to understand both how epithelial organization regulates organ growth and also how tumors actually kill their hosts.
We study how chromatin and proteins organization in the nucleus can play a role in regulating gene expression restricting of facilitating molecular interactions forming regulatory complexes such as the pre-initiation complex (PIC). Using genetics, genomics and single molecule imaging we track how the biophysical rules governing nuclear 3D organization and function are regulated during key cellular processes such as differentiation.
The Dillin laboratory works on the genetic and molecular mechanisms that regulate aging and aging-related disease. The Dillin lab is particularly interested in understanding why an organism begins to lose control over the quality and integrity of its proteins as it ages, and how the recognition of protein misfolding stress is communicated to distal tissues and organs.
Thirty years after the discovery of enhancers that control spatial and temporal patterns of gene expression during animal development, we still do not understand how they function. My lab develops and applies experimental, computational, and evolutionary genomic techniques, as well as high-resolution microscopy, to study enhancers active during early Drosophila development.
In development a single cell goes through a series of repeated divisions and these cells read the program encoded in their DNA in order to become familiar cell types such as those found in muscle, liver or our brains. The goal of our lab is to uncover the rules behind these decisions with the objective of predicting and manipulating developmental programs from just looking at DNA sequence. In order to reach this predictive understanding we combine physics, synthetic biology and new technologies to query and control developmental decisions in real time at the single cell level in the fruit fly embryo.
During nervous system development, many cells that are generated are fated to die. We study the mechanisms the regulate how cells make the decision to live or die. We also study how the axons find their synaptic targets, with a focus in how axons extend along nerve bundles.
My laboratory is interested in the genetic regulation of growth. We are interested in how animals stop growing when they reach the correct size and shape during their development and how perturbations in growth regulation result in overgrowth (e.g. in cancer). We study the growth that occurs during regeneration and are trying to understand why some tissues are capable of regeneration and others are not. We also design and build genetic tools that facilitate the study of developmental growth and regeneration.
My laboratory is interested in the molecular basis for development of the vertebrate embryo. Many of the paradigms for development of vertebrate embryos have come first from work with amphibians, and many of the signaling activities were first analyzed using amphibian embryos.
My lab aims to reveal the importance of the non-coding RNAs in development and cancer, with a focus on the functional characterization of micoRNAs. We are particularly interested in the functions of non-coding RNAs during the totipotency to pluripotency transition in mammalian preimplantation development. We study the molecular basis for cell fate potentials in a variety of stem cells during early embryogenesis; and we also develop novel genome editing tools in mice that facilitate our investigation.
Our goal is to shed light on the key functions of telomeres and telomerase in tissue homeostasis, tumorigenesis and aging. Telomeres are the repetitive DNA sequences at the end of linear eukaryotic chromosomes that allow a cell to distinguish the natural chromosome end from aberrant DNA breaks.
The King laboratory uses molecular and comparative genomic approaches to reconstruct the origin and evolution of animals. To this end, we have developed choanoflagellates, the closest living relatives of animals, into genome-enabled and experimentally-tractable organisms for investigating the unicellular ancestry of animals. In addition, we use choanoflagellates as a simple system for investigating mechanisms underlying host-microbe interactions.
We are interested in the signal transduction pathways that regulate development, stem cell fate and cancer. We employ in vitro mechanistic studies in tissue culture cells in combination with biological analyses using in vivo mouse models to understand how disruption of the normal signaling network leads to developmental defects and human cancer.
Chromosomes undergo dynamic behaviors during development to ensure genomic stability and accurate cell fate decisions. The Meyer lab studies inter-related molecular networks that control diverse chromosome behaviors during development: chromosome counting to determine sexual fate; X chromosome-wide repression during dosage compensation to balance gene expression between the sexes; chromosome cohesion to tether and release replicated chromosomes while reducing genome copy number in germ cells; and chromosome compaction to control chromosome segregation and recombination between maternal and paternal chromosomes.
We study how pattern forms during development and changes during evolution. We focus on the vertebrate head skeleton, using a genetic approach in the threespine stickleback fish, a species complex that has repeatedly evolved head skeletal adaptations. We seek to understand the genetic basis of craniofacial and dental pattern and how alterations to these genes result in evolved differences in morphology.
Research in the Ngai Lab focuses on the molecular mechanisms underlying the development, regeneration and function of the vertebrate olfactory system using molecular, genomic, computational and behavioral approaches. We are also leveraging high-throughput genomic and genome engineering techniques to characterize the diversity of cell types in the mouse cerebral cortex.
Our research aims to understand the developmental basis for evolutionary change, with an emphasis on appendage and body plan patterning, germline development, and structural coloration.
Our lab is interested in how signaling pathways control cell fate decisions. By using T cell development and immune response in the mouse as model systems, we can take advantage of the powerful genetic approaches available in the mouse, while learning about an immune system that is very close to our own.
We study the mechanism by which an activity gradient of the morphogen Sonic Hedgehog is established and interpreted. We primarily use genome edited embryonic cell lines that we differentiate into neural tissue as a way to study intercellular interactions at the cellular level.
My laboratory is interested in using genome-scale approaches to reconstruct the ancestral characteristics of animals, and to uncover the mechanisms by which genomic changes enable the evolution of development and physiology. We are also interested in the domestication of crops and the mechanisms and consequences of polyploidy.
We are interested in understanding molecular mechanisms and how microglia cells maintain homeostasis in the brain. We are also working on developing new therapeutic strategies for neurological diseases using nuclear receptor-mediated transcription and epigenetic regulation to restore normal microglia functions.
Our research program employs molecular and cellular engineering approaches to investigate the related areas of stem cell engineering and gene therapy. In particular, we are developing novel genetic and biomaterials engineering technologies to study basic regulatory mechanisms that control adult neural and human pluripotent stem cell function, and to apply this basic information towards therapeutic development. In parallel, we have developed novel protein engineering approaches to create new, enhanced viral gene delivery vehicles, particularly for gene transfer and precision medicine in the nervous system.
Our research explores the diversification of developmental mechanisms to be found in the super-phylum Lophtrochozoa/Spiralia. We focus on the leech Helobdella, which makes a fixed number of segments from a posterior growth zone consisting of ten lineage-restricted stem cells and hope to undertake comparisons with oligochaetes such as Tubifex, in which a homologous growth zone exhibits indeterminate growth.