Alan Hinnebursch, Program Director
The seven investigators in this program, all belonging to the Laboratory of Gene Regulation and Development (LGRD), apply a combination of genetics, biochemistry, cell biology, and structural biology to elucidate the molecular basis of processes fundamentally important in cell biology or animal development. Three of the seven groups study molecular mechanisms of transcriptional and translational control of gene expression and the transposition of retroelements in budding or fission yeast. Two groups employ the fruit fly Drosophila to investigate molecular mechanisms in development, including the molecular basis of neuronal connection specificity in the visual system, receptor clustering at synapses of the neuromuscular junction, and cell signaling by TGF-beta factors. The aneuran Xenopus laevis serves as a model system for the work of the remaining two groups, one of which focuses on spindle assembly and chromosome segregation and the other on transcriptional programming of adult stem cells in organ development during metamorphosis.