B.A., Mathematics, Columbia University, 1987
Ph.D., Biology, Yale University, 1993
My laboratory works at the interface between signal transduction and developmental biology. The long term goal of our research is to understand how complex developmental decisions are controlled in time and space by multiple signaling pathways. Our approach involves first identifying the individual genes comprising the regulatory network, and second elucidating the complex functional relationships between the components in order to determine the critical nodes where information is integrated. Specifically, we study how nuclear events downstream of the receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) pathway regulate cell fate specification decisions during embryonic and retinal neural development, with particular emphasis on elucidating the post-translational control mechanisms that modulate and facilitate interactions within the network.
Drosophila, and in particular the fly eye, provides an unparalleled model tissue in which to study the mechanisms of signal integration both because of its experimental tractability and because a complex interplay between multiple signaling pathways regulates many aspects of its development. Furthermore, because developmental signaling mechanisms have all been highly conserved in evolution, our work elucidating the molecular circuitries used in Drosophila directly advances understanding of how cell fates are designated and maintained in all animals, and why misregulation results in cancer and disease in humans. Thus our current and long term strategy involves combining genetic, genomic, proteomic, biochemical and cell biological methodologies in order to elucidate the conserved molecular circuitries that link and coordinate signaling modules in the developing retina.