RESEARCH

OVERVIEW & ORGANISMS

 

The organization of cells into epithelial layers is a fundamental structural context for understanding animal development and evolution.  The Gibson lab employs a wide range of technical approaches to elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms that direct the growth of epithelial tissue and coordinate epithelial cell mitosis with the maintenance of polarized tissue architecture in vivo.

 

Our research plan is balanced across two model organisms: the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, and the starlet sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis.  We leverage Drosophila’s highly developed genetic toolkit to functionally interrogate the regulation of epithelial cell shape and proliferation while capitalizing on Nematostella’s advantageous phylogenetic position to develop a comparative and evolutionary perspective on epithelial growth, patterning, and morphogenesis.

 

We are currently extending several lines of questioning in two principle domains:

  • Epithelial homeostasis and proliferation in the developing Drosophila wing disc
  • The cell, molecular, and evolutionary-developmental biology of Nematostella vectensis

 

Projects in the Gibson lab are driven by members’ research interests; visit the People page to see what everyone's up to right now.

 

 

OUR PAST WORK HAS INVESTIGATED DESIGN PRINCIPLES IN PROLIFERATING EPITHELIA IN THREE AREAS:

Tissue growth control via BMP signaling during imaginal disc development

 

Cell division in vivo through epithelial polarity and the control of mitotic spindle alignment

 

Evolution of morphogenesis through the lens of the cell biology of Nematostella development

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gibson Lab

1000 East 50th Street

Kansas City, MO 64110