Our research program uses the zebrafish and related species to answer a variety of biological questions having both basic and translational relevance. Current efforts are focusing on: the establishment, maintenance, and recruitment of post-embryonic stem cells in the context of normal development, evolutionary diversification, and melanoma; the genes and cell behaviors underlying adult pigment pattern formation and how these mechanisms have evolved between closely related species to generate strikingly different pigment patterns; and the molecular mechanisms of the larval-to-adult transformation, or metamorphosis, which generates the adult form.
We have additionally studied: the behavioral significance of pigment pattern variation; molecular and endocrine factors in skeletogenesis and kidney function; and zebrafish natural history in India. We also recently published the normal table of post-embryonic developmental stages for zebrafish, covering a period of profound developmental importance that remains woefully under-studied.
We use a variety of approaches including: transgenesis in zebrafish and related species; forward genetic screening and molecular cloning of identified mutants; time-lapse imaging of morphogenesis and differentiation; cell lineage analyses by genetic and other approaches; next generation sequencing for comparative analyses of species genomes; and analyses of gene expression by in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry and qPCR. We have further developed or modified a wide variety of approaches to facilitate studies of post-embryonic development.
1991 B.A. Biology, Reed College 1997 Ph.D. Population Biology, University of California at Davis 1997-2000 Postdoctoral Fellow, Genetics, Genomics, Washington University Medical School