Research in our lab

Caenorhabditis elegans

We use the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans to investigate various biological processes. Advantages of this system include:

  • C. elegans reproduces rapidly and is easy and inexpensive to culture.
  • C. elegans has two sexes, males and hermaphrodites, which along with short a generation time (3 days) facilitates genetic manipulation.
  • A wide range of molecular and genetic techniques are available to experimentally manipulate C. elegans (e.g. RNAi, DNA transformation).
  • C. elegans is composed of a small number of cells (about 1000 somatic cells) and the number and arrangement of cells is largely invariant from animal to animal.
  • C. elegans is transparent. Thus, many cellular processes (e.g. cell division) can be observed in living animals using Nomarski (Differential Interference Contrast) and fluorescence microscopy.
  • Short life span makes it easy to assay life span.

Our lab is currently working in three areas:
  • Transcriptional regulation of the bed-3 gene by BLMP-1 and transcribed enhancers
  • Wnt signaling mediated by Ryk and Ror receptors
  • Mitochondrial transport and Miro GTPase