Institute of Neuroscience
1254 University of Oregon
BIOGRAPHY AND RESEARCH INTERESTS
We are interested in learning how cells become committed to differentiate their specific properties during embryonic development. We have focused our attention on neurons and neural crest cells in the embryonic zebrafish. To study the mechanisms underlying commitment and differentiation, we have developed techniques for labeling individual neurons and neural crest cells and then watching their development in living embryos. We also transplant single neurons and neural crest cells to new locations to learn when they acquire their identities and some of the environmental features that may be involved in the process. Recently, we have started to screen for genes that may be involved in determining the fates of identified neurons or neural crest cells. Our ultimate goal is to understand the cellular, genetic, and molecular mechanisms underlying cell fate determination and expression during embryonic development.