Developmental Biology

Developmental BiologyDevelopmental biologists in the Department of Molecular Biosciences seek to understand the process by which single-celled zygotes give rise to all of the differentiated cell and tissue types in adult multicellular organisms.  Researchers seek to understand how cells interact with each other during development to become differentiated and to take on distinct fates, as well as how cells migrate in the embryo and undergo shape changes to form tissues and organs.  A diverse array of genetic model organisms are used, including the nematode worm C. elegans, the fruit fly Drosophila, the zebrafish, and rodents (mice, rats).  Understanding how organisms normally develop is critical to understanding the basis of developmental disorders and syndromes, and mechanisms that normally govern development often go awry in diseases such as cancer.  Furthermore, stem cells, the undifferentiated progenitors to tissues and organs, will be of increasing prominence in the future of medicine.  Current research emphases in the department include developmental neurobiology, epithelial tissue organogenesis, and cancer biology.

Select a faculty member below to learn more about their research in this area:

Dr. Brian Ackley
Associate Professor, Research Coordinator
(785) 864-5821
5004 Haworth

Interactions between neurons and their environment during development

Dr. Mizuki Azuma
Associate Professor
(785) 864-6163
7031 Haworth

The function of Ewing sarcoma proteins in mitosis.

Associate Professor, (on leave from Fall 2020)
(785) 864-4328
8035 Haworth Hall

Regulation of cell shape in nematode tubule formation.

Dr. Erik Lundquist
Professor, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research
(785) 864-5853
5049 Haworth Hall

Developmental neurobiology, genetics, and genomics.

Dr. Lisa Timmons
Associate Professor
(785) 864-7363
5041 Haworth

ABC transporters and RNAi: anti-foreign genome responses and stem cell regulation.

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