Congradulations Vesile, Alessio, and Mohammad!
Nir Yakoby October 9, 2014

Congratulations for being selected to receive an Arts and Sciences Dean's Undergraduate Research Fund Grant.… Read More

Congradulations to our graduates!
Nir Yakoby May 22, 2014

Congrats to all our graduating undergraduate and graduate students; you did it! Good luck in the future!… Read More

Congratulations Dr. Niepielko!!!
Nir Yakoby April 30, 2014

Congratulations Matt for passing your Thesis Defense Exam earning a PhD in Computational and Integrative biolo… Read More

Tissue Patterning and Morphogenesis

egg patterningThe main interest of our laboratory is to understand mechanisms underlying cell fate determination by cell signaling. We focus on the two highly conserved signaling pathways, the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and use fruit fly egg formation, oogenesis, as a model system.

The egg chamber (left) is the precursor of the mature egg (right). The oocyte is surrounded by a layer of follicle cells (FCs), which derive the formation of the 3D intricate structures of the Drosophila eggshell.

Eggshell structures, such as the dorsal appendages (DAs), are formed by two non-overlapping populations of cells. Cells expressing Rhomboid (Rho) form the future floor of the DAs, and cells expressing Broad (BR) form the future roof of the DAs. Other structures include the operculum (Op – an opening for larvae hatching), and a micropyle (M – the point of sperm entry).

We are interested to study the evolution of BMP signaling dynamics across Drosophila species. In addition, we aim to understand how spatiotemporal changes in the activation of EGFR by the ligand Gurken derive the formation of morphological novelties on eggshells of numerous Drosophila species.

Funding

National Institute of Health  National Science Foundation