Molecular Biology is a fundamental area of investigative research in Biology that employs new technologies and experimental approaches to examine fundamental processes in all living organisms. In the course of these investigations, we use wide variety of model organisms, including mice, guinea pigs, human tissue cell cultures, the nematode species Caenorhabditis elegans, the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, model bacteria and the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. The research is of immediate relevance to human health in many areas including cancer, inherited genetic diseases and disease resistance, DNA repair, and neurosystem development and function. We welcome strong applicants as undergraduate researchers, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
Relevant Graduate Courses
- BIOL 6B03 / Plant Metabolism and Molecular Biology
- BIOL 6P03 / Medical Microbiology
- BIOL 6DD3 / Molecular Evolution
- BIOL 709 / Special Topics in Biology
- BIOL 715 / Topics in Evolutionary Genetics
- BIOL 720 / Bioinformatics
- BIOL 721 / Topics in Molecular Evolution
- BIOL 775 / Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Genomics
- Education *750 / Principles and Practices of University Teaching
Explore the Graduate Courses page for more information
At one level, evolution is remarkably simple, with just a few concepts ? mutation, recombination, random drift and natural selection ? that underlie the overall process. Yet this description obscures many issues that make evolution a fascinating area for study. Evolution typically involves many genes and often revolves around interactions between individuals and their environments. Moreover, genes interact with one another and with the environment in a nonlinear fashion, resulting in complex phenotypes and evolutionary dynamics. My work aims to describe and analyze such interactions with experimental and quantitative rigor. Specifically work in my lab aims to address the fundamental question about the mechanistic basis of observed phenotypic variation. That is, how genetic (and environmental) variation modulate developmental processes and ultimately influence phenotypic outcomes. My research employs genetic and genomic approaches to address these issues, largely using Drosophila (fruit flies) as a model system. Most labs that work with Drosophila study either individual mutations of large effect (such as those that completely knock out a particular function) or subtle quantitative variation (rarely identifying specific genes). We employ both of these empirical approaches in conjunction with our genomic analyses to help relate our understanding from developmental genetics with the natural variation observed in populations.
Cell & Developmental Biology; Ecology & Evolution; Bioinformatics & Functional Genomics