Developmental Biology Research Interest Group

The developmental biology program combines research activities centered in the Institute of Neuroscience with those in the Institute of Molecular Biology and the Center for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Several laboratories (Eisen, Guillemin, Kimmel, Postlethwait, Washbourne, and Westerfield) use zebrafish as a model in which to study the mechanisms underlying vertebrate development. Other research groups study development in the fruit fly (Doe, Guillemin, Herman, Johnson, Prehoda), the mouse (Guillemin, Kentros, Stankunas, Washbourne), the three spine stickleback (Cresko, Kimmel, Postlethwait), the nematode (Bowerman, Phillips), yeast (Sprague, Stevens), neurospora (Selker), and evolving gene families (Thornton). Members of all of these laboratories actively share information and resources in this diverse and rapidly moving field. In addition to a graduate research training program, a weekly journal club, and joint research group meetings, the developmental biologists participate in a yearly symposium on a topic of interest selected by graduate students in the participating laboratories.


Chris Doe Generation of neuron and glial diversity; asymmetric cell division
Judith Eisen Specification and patterning of neurons and neural crest cells
Clifford Kentros Cellular and molecular basis of memory; regulation of gene expression in the mammalian brain
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
institute of molecular biology  
Bruce Bowerman Genetic analysis of cytoskeleton development in C.elegans
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
George Sprague Genetic regulatory mechanisms
Kryn Stankunas Chromatin dynamics and epigenetic control of vertebrate development
Tom Stevens Cellular and developmental mechanisms of membrane biogenesis; protein sorting; organelle assembly
Mike Harms Biophysics of protein evolution
William Cresko Developmental genetics of evolving traits; gene and genome duplication; evolutionary genetics
Patrick Phillips Empirical and theoretical studies of developmental genetics, evolutionary genetics, ecology, and behavior