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Developmental Regulatory Genomics

Welcome to the Ettensohn lab!

We are a collection of developmental biologists, molecular biologists, and bioinformaticians. Our shared interest is in the genetic and cellular mechanisms that underlie embryonic development. Our research program, now in its 35th year, is currently focused on the architecture, function, and plasticity of developmental gene regulatory networks.

Lab News

• A warm welcome to our newest lab members! Xiantong (Makino) Xin joined the lab as a Ph. D. student. Macie Chess joined as a Research Associate. Two Master’s students, Ethan Gaskin and Zhicen Mao, are carrying out research projects in the lab. A warm welcome also to three new undergraduate researchers, Mia Michel, Charles Novak, and Mahitha Chaturvedula and to Haoran Wang, a first-year Ph. D. student currently rotating in the lab.

• Congratulations to recent lab graduates on their new positions! Dr. Jimmy Khor, a former Ph. D. student, has joined Brant Weinstein’s lab at the National Institutes of Health as a postdoctoral fellow to study epigenetic mechanisms of regeneration in zebrafish. Dr. Jennifer Guerrero-Santoro, a former Research Associate, has joined Thermo-Fisher Scientific in Translation Project Management. Dr. Thomas Beatman, a former biocurator, is now the manager of Visitor Experience Research and Evaluation at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. Kristen Donegan, a former undergraduate researcher, is working at the University of Maryland School of Medicine as a Clinical Research Assistant.

• Congratulations to William Douglas, who was awarded an F31 graduate fellowship from the National Institutes of Health to support his Ph. D. thesis research on developmental gene regulatory networks.

• Congratulations to Dr. Jimmy Khor (and co-authors!), whose analysis of molecular compartmentalization in the skeletogenic syncytium was published in Development (PDF).

• Congratulations to Macie Chess (and co-authors!), whose analysis of the phylogeny and developmental expression of echinoderm cadherins was published in EvoDevo (PDF).

• Congratulations to Dr. Jimmy Khor, whose analysis of the architecture and evolution of the cis-regulatory control of kirrelL, a gene required for cell-cell fusion, was published in eLife (PDF).

• Congratulations to Dr. Jimmy Khor, whose work optimizing a Tet-inducible system for controlling gene expression in sea urchin embryos was published in Development (PDF).

• We recently reviewed work by our lab and others on Alx1, a homeodomain-family transcription factor that plays a pivotal role in skeletal development throughout the echinoderm phylum (PDF).

The embryonic skeleton. This pluteus larva was immunostained with monoclonal antibody 6a9, which highlights the skeletal rods and associated skeleton-secreting cells. The 3D reconstruction was generated from a confocal image stack using Vaa3D software.