William B. Wood

University of Colorado Boulder

Primary Section: 26, Genetics
Secondary Section: 22, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Membership Type:
Member (elected 1972)

Research Interests

My research group studies developmental controls in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, using techniques of genetics, cell biology, and molecular biology. Despite recent advances in understanding mechanisms of embryonic development, it is still largely unclear how animal embryos integrate signal transduction and control of gene expression with cell behaviors, such as division orientation and directed movement, to bring about pattern formation. To better understand the patterning process, we are analyzing the functions of mutationally identified genes that affect: 1) specification of polarity (handedness) for the left-right embryonic axis, which in turn determines handedness of the embryo and the body plan throughout development; 2) the initiation of gastrulation, involving control of mitotic spindle orientations and directed cell movements, 3) the mechanisms by which the body-plan master control genes known as Hox genes specify regional identities along the anterior-posterior axis in the developing embryo; and 4) the regulation of cell size and body size during post-embryonic growth.

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