B.Sc. - Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge.
Ph.D. - Wellcome/CRC Institute, University of Cambridge.
Research Staff Member. In the lab of Dr. Eric Wieschaus, Princeton University, USA, 2000-2005.
Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab of Dr. Eric Wieschaus, Princeton University, USA, 1997-2000.
Ph.D., Genetics, Wellcome/CRC Institute, University of Cambridge, UK. Thesis advisor: Dr. Michael Akam. 1992-97.
B.Sc.(Hons.) Natural Sciences (Part II Genetics), Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, UK, 1987-1990.
Our lab explores themes of developmental genetics and evolutionary biology using insects as our model system. We study the evolution of processes that transform the fertilized egg into a fully formed organism and the interactions between insect cells and their associated bacteria and parasites.
Current projects fall into three areas:
- Comparison of embryonic development between Drosophila melanogaster and other insects analyzing evolution of key genetic pathways. Errors in equivalent pathways in humans can lead to congenital abnormalities, so this project has medical relevance.
- Exploring relationships between fly embryos and the Wolbachia bacteria that live inside their cells. Wolbachia are found in most insects, are involved in disease pathogenesis and are used as pest control for vectors of Dengue fever and malaria. These projects therefore connect to environmental biology and public health.
- Our interest in flies, mosquitoes and their associated microbes has also led to a collaborative project (with the Povelones labs at U Penn and Villanova) investigating Crithidia as an emerging model system to study Trypanosome parasites that cause a variety of diseases and are carried by mosquitoes.
Students in our lab are also welcome to develop their own research projects. Recent examples include DNA barcoding of marine invertebrates, fly models of rare diseases and Wolbachia in the developing nervous system. Some projects involve working with flies directly but there are many options that don’t require students to handle the adult flies. Our lab uses a wide variety of techniques from molecular biology, cell biology, histo-chemistry and microscopy to cell culture.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access
Please check out our Biology Students for Inclusion and Diversity (BID) Website for important information for Haverford students.
I am committed to working to make my research lab and classes a welcoming and supportive space. I have been, and continue to be, involved in a variety of initiatives towards this goal including but not limited to: involvement in the Chesick Scholars program (and previous HHMI program), working with colleagues to introduce UDL and inclusive practices in Bio200, and as a member of the Navigating and Transforming seminar and HHMI Inclusive Excellence Haverford Leadership Team. During my term as Biology Department Chair the Department also ran a Crafting an Inclusive Biology Curriculum seminar in response to our students' concerns, established our Biology Student Group and worked to improve transparency and access for biology department information by establishing the Bio Info Hub (for which Prof Eric Miller deserves a lot of recognition). I also provided updates and accountability for department reforms during my time as Chair as posted on the Bio Info Hub. I believe that mentorship is an important part of DEIA work and I hope that all interested students, no matter their identity, background or experience, feel comfortable in reaching out to learn more about our lab's research and how to get involved. Just send me an email :-)
- Biology Department's Info Hub - find out about Biology news, opportunities and more!
- Biology Students for Inclusion and Diversity (BID) Website - DEIA and other important info from our biology student group
- Genetics Textbook! Many years in the making with wonderful colleagues Kate Heston, Iruka Okeke and Philip Meneely and the input of our Bio200 students, our Genetics textbook is published.
- Interview in International Innovation
Interview & Article about My Work (International Innovation is the leading global dissemination resource for the wider scientific, technology and research communities, More information at www.researchmedia.eu)
- KINSC Cell & Molec. Imaging
Working with Eric Arnold ('12), Jen Schwartz ('11), Jill Geratowski ('11) and Raul Hernandez ('11) we have developed a website for our microscopy equipment