FSU Biology - Faculty Research Interests - Developmental Biology and Gene Expression

Department of Biological Science

at Florida State University

Developmental Biology and Gene Expression

  • Erdem Bangi
    My laboratory takes a novel and innovative approach to studying colorectal cancer by leveraging sophisticated genetic tools and practical advantages of Drosophila. We build, study and drug-screen Drosophila cancer models that reflect the complexity and diversity of sequenced human tumors.

  • Hank W. Bass
    Meiosis in higher plants; telomere dynamics; molecular cytology; maize chromatin, nuclease sensitivity profiling, G4-DNA, and genome research in maize and hop.

  • Brian P. Chadwick
    X chromosome inactivation; chromatin organization; epigenetic gene regulation.

  • Hongchang Cui
    Cell fate specification and reprogramming in plants; evolutionary and developmental biology; plant-environment interaction; genomics and epigenomics; proteomics; molecular genetics.

  • Jonathan H. Dennis
    The biology of chromatin involved in the innate immune response.

  • James M. Fadool
    Using zebrafish as an model system, we investigate genetic & cellular mechanisms regulating photoreceptor development, patterning, retinal degeneration and regeneration.

  • Jian Feng
    Epigenetic regulation of neuropsychiatric disorders

  • Peter Fraser
    Dynamic changes in chromatin and chromosome architecture regulates patterns of cellular gene expression during differentiation and development, or in response to environmental signals. Our research looks at various levels of chromatin, chromosome and nuclear structure, from individual nucleosome modifications to the dynamic 3D structure of chromosomes and their inter-relationships in the nucleus and how they affect genome functions.

  • David Houle
    I am an evolutionary geneticist, studying the relationship between genomic and phenotypic variation. Now that we have genomes, we need a comparably thorough understanding of phenomes to understand the selection that acts on genetic variation. Our models are the appendages of fruit flies, where we exploit genomic variation, direct manipulation of genes and experimental evolution to understand how the developmental system shapes variation, and ultimately the ability of complex systems to evolve.

  • Kathryn M. Jones
    I study the symbiotic interaction of nitrogen-fixing rhizobial bacteria with legume host plants: 1)How bacteria manipulate their environment during host plant invasion such that the plant not only permits entry, but provides an invasion pathway for them; 2)Why the interactions of specific strains of Sinorhizobium with particular Medicago truncatula plant ecotypes are more productive than others; 3)How plants direct resources to productive symbionts at the expense of unproductive ones (cheaters).

  • Karen M. McGinnis
    Epigenetic gene regulation in maize.

  • M. Elizabeth Stroupe
    The Stroupe laboratory uses cryogenic electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography to discover fundamental mechanisms in ribosome biogenesis and sulfur metabolism.

  • Hengli Tang
    Virus-host cell interactions; Stem cell-based models for viral infections; Cell biology of flavivirus replication.

  • Fanxiu Zhu
    Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV); viral evasion of the host innate immune responses; viral modulation of the host kinase signaling pathways; role and assembly of KSHV tegument proteins.


Our research focuses on the molecular bases of gene function and processes that control development. We use classical, modern, and unique model systems to analyze the mechanistic bases of gene expression and regulation, establish relationships between the structure and function of gene products, and investigate how organisms integrate multiple signals during development. Well-staffed core facilities in the Department of Biological Science, close work with associated departments/programs (e.g. Chemistry Department, the Institute of Molecular Biophysics, the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory), and new initiatives in computational biology and medical sciences afford access to state-of-the-art research technologies. In addition to emphasizing day-to-day interactions between students and faculty advisors, joint lab meetings and topical seminar series allow faculty and students to present and critique the latest research. Our small but highly productive laboratories provide excellent breadth and balance in graduate and postgraduate training while emphasizing high-quality, nationally competitive research.