The laboratories in Cell and Developmental Biology areas are engaged in cutting-edge research encompassing gene regulation, cancer biology, neurosystems, and reproductive system development and function. Experimental approaches include conventional and multidisciplinary tools, such as genetics, immunochemistry, transgenics, biochemistry, confocal and electron microscopy, tissue culture, genomics, and bioinformatics. Research questions are being addressed in both invertebrate and vertebrate model systems, including the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and mammalian cells. This broad range of activities provides excellent training opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students, and post-doctoral fellows.

Roger Jacobs
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LSB 429
(905) 525-9140 ext. 27350

The heart is the organ most often affected by congenital malformations, as well as diseases associated with aging. Uncovering the molecular and genetic mechanisms that underlie these problems can be accelerated through study with simpler genetic models such as the fruitfly, Drosophila. The Jacobs lab employs the Drosophila genetic model to dissect heart formation and growth of the heart, with particular focus on adhesion signaling, cell polarity, morphogenesis and the formation and remodeling of the heart extra-cellular matrix.

The Jacobs lab is no longer recruiting students for graduate or undergraduate thesis work.

Cell and Developmental Biology; Genetics & Molecular Biology

  • Hughes CJR, Turner S, Andrews RM, Vitkin A, Jacobs JR. (2020) Matrix metalloproteinases regulate ECM accumulation but not larval heart growth in Drosophila melanogaster.  J Mol Cell Cardiol. 140:42-55. doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2020.02.008.
  • Cevik D, Acker M, Arefi P, Ghaemi R, Zhang J, Selvaganapathy PR, Dworkin I, Jacobs JR.  (2019) Chloroform and desflurane immobilization with recovery of viable Drosophila larvae for confocal imaging.J Insect Physiol.117:103900. doi: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2019.103900
  • Cevik D, Acker M, Michalski C, Jacobs JR. (2019) Pericardin, a Drosophila collagen, facilitates accumulation of hemocytes at the heart. Dev Biol. 454(1):52-65. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2019.06.006
  • Ghaemi R, Arefi P, Stosic A, Acker M, Raza Q, Jacobs JR and Selvaganapathy PR. (2017) A microfluidic microinjector for toxicological and developmental studies in Drosophila embryos. Lab Chip, 2017,
  • Hughes, CJR and Jacobs, JR (2017) Dissecting the Role of the Extracellular Matrix in Heart Disease: Lessons from the Drosophila Genetic Model. Vet. Sci. 2017, 4, 24; doi:10.3390/vetsci4020024
  • Vanderploeg J, Jacobs JR (2017) Mapping heart development in flies: Src42A acts non-autonomously to promote heart tube formation in Drosophila. Vet. Sci. 2017, 4, 23; doi:10.3390/vetsci4020023
  • Raza Q, Vanderploeg, J Jacobs JR. (2017) Matrix Metalloproteinases are required for membrane motility and lumenogenesis during Drosophila heart development. PlosONE PLoS Feb 13;12(2):e0171905.
  • Raza Q, Jacobs JR (2016) Guidance signalling regulates leading edge behaviour during collective cell migration of cardiac cells in Drosophila. Dev Biol. 419(2):285-297
  • Bogatan S, Cevik D, Demidov V, Vanderploeg J, Panchbhaya A, Vitkin A, Jacobs JR.(2015) Talin Is Required Continuously for Cardiomyocyte Remodeling during Heart Growth in Drosophila. PLoS One. 2015 Jun 25;10(6)pub icon
  • Vanderploeg J, Jacobs JR.(2015) Talin is required to position and expand the luminal domain of the Drosophila heart tube. Dev Biol. 2015 Sep 15;405(2):189-201. pub icon
  • Vanderploeg J, Vazquez Paz LL, MacMullin A, Jacobs JR. (2012) Integrins are required for cardioblast polarisation in Drosophila. BMC Dev Biol. 12:8. pub icon
  • Knox J, Moyer K, Yacoub N, Soldaat C, Komosa M, Vassilieva K, Wilk R, Hu J,Vazquez Paz Lde L, Syed Q, Krause HM, Georgescu M, Jacobs JR.  (2011) Syndecan contributes to heart cell specification and lumen formation during Drosophila cardiogenesis. Dev Biol. 356:279-90. pub icon
  • Moyer KE, Jacobs, JR. (2008) Varicose: a MAGUK required for the maturation and function of Drosophila septate junctions. BMC Dev Biol. 8:99  pub icon
  • MacMullin A and Jacobs, JR. (2006) Slit coordinates cardiac morphogenesis in Drosophila. Dev Biol. 293:154-64. 
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  • Settle, M., Gordon, M.D., Nadella, M., Dankort, D., Muller, W., Jacobs, J.R. (2003) Genetic identification of effectors downstream of Neu (ErbB-2) autophosphorylation sites in a Drosophila model.Oncogene 22:1916-1926. 
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  • Stevens, A. and Jacobs, J.R. (2002) Integrins Regulate Responsiveness to Slit Repellent Signals J. Neurosci. 22: 4448-4455. pub icon
  • Battye, R.A., Stevens, A., Perry, R., and Jacobs, J.R. (2001) Repellent signaling from Slit requires the Leucine Rich Region. J. Neurosci . 21:4290-4298 
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  • Jacobs, J.R. (2000) The Midline Glia of Drosophila: A molecular genetic model for the developmental functions of glia. Prog. Neurobiol. 62:475-508  pub icon
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McMaster University - Faculty of Science | Biology