research interests are focused on the development of the nervous
system in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. My students
and I are currently analyzing several genes believed to be involved
in this process. We are characterizing the mutant phenotype using
immunohistochemical staining techniques, and we are also attempting
to clone these genes using PCR and plasmid rescue techniques.
This work is of interest in terms of human biology as well, since
most Drosophila genes have human homologues that often
play very similar roles during development. Several such genes
have even been linked to certain human diseases.
Students who are
interested in participating in this research are encouraged
to come speak with me. Students may either carry out research
during the regular academic year for upper-level Directed Research
credit, or they may choose to get a more intensive experience
by working in the lab during the summer. Grant money is available
from Pitt-Bradford to pay for students to present their research
at conferences. Currently, grant money is also available from
an NIH AREA grant to help provide summer research students with
Students in the Lab and on the Road!