- BA, Biology, Reed College
- PhD, Population Biology, University of California, Davis
- Postdoc, Genetics, Genomics, University of Virginia
Bioinformatics and Genomics, Cancer Biology, Cell and Developmental Biology, Development, Genetics, Metabolism, Neuroimmunology, Neuroscience, Stem Cells & Regeneration
Developmental Genetics, Evolution and Regeneration
Much of our work focuses on cell signaling and mechanisms of lineage specification, differentiation and morphogenesis. Particular emphases have been on post-embryonic neural crest stem cells and their derivatives, including pigment cells and glia. Additional efforts focus on skin and scale development and regeneration, the evolution of pigmentation, melanoma progression, and other topics.
We employ a very wide of approaches including single cell RNA-sequencing, super-resolution and time-lapse imaging in vivo, CRISPR/Cas9 mutagenesis and gene editing, cell transplantation, transgenesis and BAC recombineering, and forward genetic screening. The lab is unusually well equipped with our own Illumina NextSeq-550 sequencer, 10X Chromium controller, 3 laser confocal and spinning disk microscopes among others, an 1800 tank fish facility, and other instruments. This infrastructure allows extraordinary access to resources and training opportunities in cutting-edge methodologies.
The lab's diverse research interests reflect my own unusually broad background, with training as a postdoc in genetics and genomics, as a grad student in population biology and experimental embryology, and as an undergrad in field biology and evolutionary ecology.
I invest considerable effort in postdocs, grad students, and postbacs. I foster independence, critical thinking and a variety of career paths through frequent consultation and advising, group meetings and professional skills development (including writing, seminars, chalk talks), formulation of IDPs, structured mentoring opportunities, and help in building truly independent research programs. Grad students have gone on to outstanding postdocs whereas postdocs have gone on to excellent faculty positions, at UC-Irvine, UCSF, Boston College and Rhode Island College. Efforts also apply to undergraduates, with over 100 having participated in lab research and many contributing substantially to the projects of their grad student and postdoctoral mentors. Most undergrads begin as freshman or sophomores and stay until they graduate.
At all levels, we particularly value the inclusion of individuals from underrepresented groups, socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds, and veterans, and we have made substantive contributions to advancing the goals of diversity, equity and inclusion through departmental committees and other activities.
Our research has been funded continuously by NIGMS since the lab was founded in 2000 with support from NIH R01 grants until 2016 when two awards, NIH R01 GM096906 and NIH R01 GM111233, were folded into NIH R35 GM122471 MIRA , which gives us unusual flexibility in our research questions and approaches. We have also received support from NIH NICHD (one R01 and three R03s), NSF, and other sources.The lab has very diverse interests and we are always happy to entertain new ideas. We welcome postdoctoral scholars, graduate students and undergraduates.