Research Interests

My research focuses on the cell and developmental regulatory mechanisms that drive differentiation. How does the developmental program modify not only gene expression, but also fundamental aspects of cell behavior such as cytoskeletal assembly and cell cycle progression, to build tissues, organs and embryos? My recent research has focused on how adult stem cells both self-renew and produce specialized differentiated progeny. By studying a model adult stem cell lineage in vivo, the Drosophila male germ line, we learned how the microenvironment of the niche instructs cells to maintain stem cell identity and how stem cells orient toward their attachment to the niche to program asymmetric cell division. We are currently trying to decipher how the proliferation of transit amplifying cells is controlled and how cells in stem cell lineages are programmed to stop dividing and turn on terminal differentiation. We are also studying a key downstream target of the switch from proliferation to differentiation, the gene regulatory mechanisms that turn on cell type specific transcription programs for terminal differentiation.

Membership Type


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Primary Section

Section 22: Cellular and Developmental Biology

Secondary Section

Section 26: Genetics