Developmental and Cellular Neuroscience Training Program

Training in developmental biology is primarily done in the Institute of Neuroscience and Institute of Molecular Biology, although relevant labs also are present in the Center for Ecology and Evolution.  The research interests of the training faculty range from the study of stem cell biology, cell fate specification, tissue patterning, neural development, the role of host:pathogen interactions in organ development, and neural development (neural stem cells, specification of neuronal identity, axon guidance and synapse formation, and neural circuit formation). The formal, didactic component consists of a series of courses spanning developmental biology (developmental genetics, developmental neurobiology, evolution and development, developmental patterning). These courses are available to students who need to bolster one or more areas of their background, but are not required for all students. Students are required to take an Ethics in Research course, and are encouraged to take a biological Statistics course. Students are also required to attend the one weekly research seminar series (IMB, ION, or IEE). Students funded on the DTG are required to participate in the developmental journal club. All students perform quarterly rotations in three research labs to help them choose a thesis lab starting in the following summer.

Program Members


Chris Doe Generation of neuron and glial diversity; asymmetric cell division
Judith Eisen Specification and patterning of neurons and neural crest cells
Charles Kimmel Cranial skeletal morphogenesis
Adam Miller Neural circuit development and function in zebrafish. Genetics, cell biology, biochemistry, and function of electrical synapses
John Postlethwait Genetic regulation of development; evolution of the vertebrate genome
Philip Washbourne Molecular mechanisms of synapse formation
Monte Westerfield Ear and eye development and pathogenesis; synaptic development


Bruce Bowerman Genetic analysis of cytoskeleton development
Karen Guillemin Bacterial-host interactions in development; H. pylori mechanisms of pathogenesis
Tory Herman Neural target selection and synapse formation
Eric Johnson Hypoxia, genomics, gene regulation
Ken Prehoda Signal transduction; protein interactions networks; x-ray crystallography
Eric Selker Epigenetics; DNA methylation; genome dynamics; gene silencing; position effects
Kryn Stankunas Chromatin dynamics and epigenetic control of vertebrate development


William Cresko Developmental genetics of evolving traits; gene and genome duplication; evolutionary genetics
Patrick Phillips Empirical and theorietical studies of developmental genetics, evolutionary genetics, ecology, and behavior