Gene Regulatory Network Evolution
We are interested in how gene regulatory networks change throughout the course of evolution and how these changes generate differences in phenotype. We are interested in the retina determination network (Pax, Six, Eya and Dach) in particular. It is well understood that this network is required for proper visual system formation in both vertebrates and Drosophila. However, these visual organs are very different, morphologically and cellularly, and furthermore, this network is necessary for a diversity of other developmental phenomena as well. Fundamentally we do not understand how the relationship between transcriptional networks and the diverse phenotypes they determine changes over time. To address this question, we are interested in illucidating the regulatory relationships between Pax, Six, Eya and Dach genes and their relationship to phenotype across the Metazoa.