Gametes are the ultimate stem cells with the capacity to produce entire new organisms. We study the development of female gametes, or eggs, using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model system. We are focused on two key aspects of egg development during oogenesis: the role of intercellular bridges called ring canals in developing egg chambers, and the regulation of oocyte growth. Cellular mechanisms used to control oocyte development in Drosophila are directly relevant to female fertility in other animals, including humans.
Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; C. N. H. Long Professor of Genetics and Professor of Cell Biology and of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology