Developmental Genetics

Research opportunities in developmental genetics include the examination of mechanisms that control embryonic and post-embryonic development, cell-cell signaling, transcriptional patterning, stem cells, cell differentiation, and morphogenesis. These processes are studied in model systems for animal and plant development, including Drosophila, C. elegans, ascidians and Arabidopsis. Researchers in this area are part of a joint Developmental Systems Graduate program with members of the Skirball Institute at NYU Medical School. This joint graduate program is supported by a training grant from the NIH, and provides a formal vehicle for interactions with faculty and students studying other developmental systems including vertebrates. Regional meetings of Drosophila, C. elegans and other model system researchers are hosted by NYU Biology, and attract researchers from the broad New York area.

Research in Develpmental Genetics is conducted by faculty in the Center for Developmental Genetics, located in the Brown Building on floors 9 & 10 and headed by Dr. Claude Desplan


NYU Biology Faculty in this research area:

Ken Birnbaum Regeneration, pattern formation, & dynamic changes in plant cell identity; plant stem cells.
Justin Blau* Intercellular signaling in the circadian clock.
Richard Borowsky*
Evolution & genetics of fish; understanding molecular & developmental bases of adaptation.
Lionel Christiaen*
Transcriptional control of muscle vs. heart fate specification & collective cell migration.
Claude Desplan* Drosophila neural development.
Patrick Eichenberger 
Spore coat assembly in spore-forming bacteria.
Sevinc Ercan Genetics of dosage compensation in early nematode development.
David Fitch* Morphogenesis and evolution of the nematode male tail.
Esteban Mazzoni
Neural differentiation of embryonic stem cells.
Matthew Rockman
Microevolution of development in polychaetes and nematodes.
Christine Rushlow*
Programming and reprogramming in development.
Mark Siegal Robustness and evolution of developmental systems.
Steve Small*
Morphogen gradients and gene regulatory mechanisms.

*Faculty with a primary appointment in the Center for Developmental Genetics.


Sample course curriculum in this research area: