Ph.D., Columbia University, Dept. Genetics and Development
Genetics, Genetic Engineering, Molecular Genetics, Human Genetics
I am interested in understanding how an animal develops. My laboratory utilizes the powerful genetics of the common fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster to study signaling transductions that regulate cell fate determination and cell growth. I am also a strong advocate of enrooting undergraduate science education in doing basic research. Students in my lab participate various research activities including developmental genetics and genomic studies.
My recent focus has been to investigate how Presenilin, a protein which is a very important player in animal development and in causing human diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, networks with other proteins to deliver its functioning. We have established an animal system that enables us to study Presenilin function at any developmental stage. Our recent finding indicates that Presenilin not only is important to induce signal transduction that favors cell differentiation and growth, but might also be capable to suppress cell proliferation. We hope further studies on how Presenilin networks with other proteins will illustrate the detailed mechanisms of the diverse roles of Presenilin in animal development.