Edwin Grant Conklin Professor of Biology
Professor of Molecular Biology
Self-organizing simple systems and gene regulation at the single molecule level.
The Genesis of Spatial Patterns in Simple Systems
We study cell signaling in Dictyostelium, an organism where cell proliferation is cleanly separated from differentiation and morphogenesis. Our current research focuses on the molecular biology of cAMP wave propagation in uniform layers of signaling cells. Our approach is to combine the analysis of cells mutant for various components of the signaling pathway with quantitative modeling of wave speed, amplitude, and geometry. We have also initiated a high throughput genetic screen for new wave propagation mutants. Our main goal is to understand at the systems level how cell populations self-organize to give a mature organism.
Gene regulation molecule by molecule
We develop methods for studying single mRNA and protein molecules in real time in living cells, and modeling these results by comparing them to single molecule studies in vitro using near field optical methods.