Regulation of Drosophila Stem Cells and Their Differentiating Daughters
Our lab studies several Drosophila stem cell lineages as a model for understanding how cells adopt different fates. We use fruit flies as a model system because they have six defined stem cell types that can be identified at single cell resolution within their native cellular environment. These stem cells resemble mammalian stem cells by functional and molecular criteria. Furthermore, Drosophila offers a myriad of sophisticated genetic and molecular tools for analyzing gene function in vivo. The molecules we study tend to fall into two broad categories: those involved in regulating chromatin organization and those that function in translational repression. Our long-term goal is to determine the complete regulatory network that controls both the maintenance of Drosophila stem cells and the differentiation of their daughters. We hope to use this information as a foundation for understanding how perturbations in normal gene expression programs cause disease.