Lab members

Stacie Hughes

Senior Research Specialist
B.S. Agricultural Genetics - Iowa State University

Ph.D. Molecular Genetics - Washington University
Stacie earned a B.S. in Agricultural Genetics at Iowa State. After internships in labs at Iowa State, the University of Iowa, and Pioneer Hi Bred International, Stacie began graduate work at Washington University in the lab of Dr. S. Kerry Kornfeld. Stacie’s work on reproductive aging in the nematode C. elegans was supported by a National Science Foundation Fellowship. Her interest in reproduction led her to the Hawley lab, where she began a post-doc investigating the mechanisms controlling the segregation of non-recombinant chromosomes in Drosophila females. Stacie showed that non-recombinant chromosomes undergo dynamic movements on the meiosis I spindle while connected by heterochromatic threads. She went on to show that Topoisomerase II is required to resolve the heterochromatic connections between chromosomes.  As a research specialist in the lab, Stacie has turned her attention to the regulation of the assembly and disassembly of the synaptonemal complex, the complex that holds chromosomes together during early meiosis to facilitate recombination. This work was spurred by the isolation of a mutation in the gene encoding the E3 ligase Seven in absentia (Sina) that causes the components of the synaptonemal complex to aberrantly self-assemble into large structures called polycomplexes. Stacie is continuing to unravel how polycomplex formation is regulated, the structure of polycomplexes, and how polycomplex formation affects meiotic processes. Stacie has also mentored several interns and junior staff whose work has led to manuscripts on gamma-Tubulin and B chromosomes. She has also assisted in a number of other major lab projects. Stacie can be contacted at

Regulation of Polo Kinase by Matrimony Is Required for Cohesin Maintenance during Drosophila melanogaster Female Meiosis
Bonner AM, Hughes SE, Hawley RS. Curr Biol. 2020;30:715-722e713.
Original Data

Alternative Synaptonemal Complex Structures: Too Much of a Good Thing?
Hughes SE, Hawley RS. [published ahead of print August 13 2020]. Trends Genet. 2020.  

Meiosis: Location, Location, Location, How Crossovers Ensure Segregation
Hughes, S. E., Hawley, R. S. Curr Biol. 2020 Apr 6;30(7):R311-R313  

The E3 ubiquitin ligase SINA regulates the assembly and disassembly of the synaptonemal complex in Drosophila females
Hughes SE, Hemenway E, Guo F, Yi K, Yu Z, Hawley RS. PLoS Genet. 2019;15:e1008161. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1008161.
Original Data

Female meiosis: synapsis, recombination, and segregation in Drosophila melanogaster
Hughes SE, Miller DE, Miller AL, Hawley RS. Genetics. 2018;208:875-908.

Topoisomerase II is required for the proper separation of heterochromatic regions during Drosophila female meiosis.
Hughes SE, Hawley RS. PLoS Genet. 2014;10:e1004650.
Original Data    

Discovery of Supernumerary B Chromosomes in Drosophila melanogaster.
Bauerly E, Hughes SE, Vietti DR, Miller DE, McDowell W, Hawley RS. Genetics. 2014;196:1007-1016.
Original Data

Binding of Drosophila Polo kinase to its regulator Matrimony is noncanonical and involves two separate functional domains.
Bonner AM, Hughes SE, Chisholm JA, Smith SK, Slaughter BD, Unruh JR, Collins KA, Friederichs JM, Florens L, Swanson SK, Pelot MC, Miller DE, Washburn MP, Jaspersen SL, Hawley RS. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013;110:E1222-1231.
Original Data

Gamma-Tubulin Is Required for Bipolar Spindle Assembly and for Proper Kinetochore Microtubule Attachments during Prometaphase I in Drosophila Oocytes.
Hughes SE, Beeler JS, Seat A, Slaughter BD, Unruh JR, Bauerly E, Matthies HJ, Hawley RS.  PLoS Genet. 2011;7:e1002209.  

Identification of mutations that delay somatic or reproductive aging of Caenorhabditis elegans.
Hughes, S. E., Huang, C., & Kornfeld, K. (2011). Genetics, 189(1), 341–356.

Congression of achiasmate chromosomes to the metaphase plate in Drosophila melanogaster oocytes.
Gilliland WD, Hughes SF, Vietti DR, Hawley RS. Dev Biol. 2009;325:122-128.                                  

Heterochromatic threads connect oscillating chromosomes during prometaphase I in Drosophila oocytes.
Hughes SE, Gilliland WD, Cotitta JL, Takeo S, Collins KA, Hawley RS. PLoS Genet. 2009;5:e1000348.

Heterochromatin: A rapidly evolving species barrier.
Hughes, SE, Hawley, RS. PLoS Biol. 2009 Oct;7(10):e1000233.

The Multiple Roles of Mps1 in Drosophila Female Meiosis
Gilliland WD, Hughes SE, Cotitta JL, Takeo S, Xiang Y, Hawley RS. PLoS Genet.2007;3:e113.  

The Inhibition of Polo Kinase by Matrimony Maintains G2 Arrest in the Meiotic Cell Cycle
Xiang Y, Takeo S, Florens L, Hughes SE, Huo LJ, Gilliland WD, Swanson SK, Teeter K, Schwartz JW, Washburn MP, Jaspersen SL, Hawley RS. PLoS Biol.2007;5:2831-2846.

Genetic and pharmacological factors that influence reproductive aging in nematodes
Hughes, S. E., Evason, K., Xiong, C., & Kornfeld, K. (2007). PLoS genetics, 3(2), e25.