Area of Interest
We are interested in understanding how cells function during development. We use primarily the model roundworm C. elegans because it allows us to readily combine a large number of useful techniques to address basic questions in cell and developmental biology -- techniques of cell biology, experimental embryology, forward and reverse genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, biophysics, and live imaging of cells and their cytoskeletal components.
Current work in the lab addresses several issues relevant to cancer cell biology -- how critical cell shape changes and cell movements are driven, how intercellular signals that are important in cancers can normally polarize cells, and how cell divisions are oriented in specific planes.
We expect that furthering our understanding of such fundamental events in normal cells will contribute to understanding how such events occur aberrantly in disease states.
Awards and Honors
- Guggenheim Fellow (2007)
- Visiting Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge University (2007), Elected as Life Member (2008)
- Junior faculty awards: Pew Scholar (2000-2004); March of Dimes Basil O'Connor Scholar (2000-2002); Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement by Young Faculty at UNC Chapel Hill (2005)
- Conference organizing: Co-Organizer, Santa Cruz Developmental Biology conference (2012); ASCB Annual Meeting Program Committee (2009)
- Editorial service: Editorial Boards of Development (1999-present), BMC Developmental Biology (2004-present), Developmental Dynamics (2007-present), PLoS One (2011-present); Board of Reviewing Editors, Molecular Biology of the Cell (2005-present); Associate Editor for Cellular Genetics, Genetics (2011-present); Faculty of 1000, Morphogenesis and Cell Biology Section Member (2007-present)
- Grant panels: NIH study section DEV-1 (2004, 2011); NIH study section NCF (2005, 2006); NIH study section CHHD-C (2006); NSF Developmental Mechanisms Panel (3x)