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The development of a complex, multicellular organism from a single-celled fertilized egg is a miraculous transformation that has been the subject of intense study for over a hundred years. The Developmental Biology research group consists of a diverse group of interactive faculty investigating a wide variety of development processes. We use several well-studied experimental organisms including invertebrates such as the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster, vertebrates such as zebrafish (Danio rerio) and mouse (Mus musculus), and plants Populus and Arabipdosis, as well as the bacteria Myxococcus xanthus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Specific aspects of development that are being studied include the role of chromatin remodeling in maintaining cell fate decisions (Dorus, Hall, MacDonald, Maine, Raina), signal transduction mechanisms that control germline development (Belote, Dorus, Maine, Pepling), development and aging of the vertebrate nervous system (Gold, Korol, Lewis, MacDonald), plant cell wall development and reproductive timing (Coleman, Raina), and formation of bacterial biofilms (Garza, Welch).

The group uses a wide range of approaches—including imaging, genetics, molecular biology, and bioinformatics—to address important questions in the field. Members of the our group interact with researchers from neighboring campuses in Syracuse that have a shared interest in developmental biology through monthly meetings of the Developmental Biology Interest Group (DBIG).