David R. Sherwood, Associate Professor
Ph.D., Duke University, 1997
Postdoctoral Fellowship, California Institute of Technology, 1999
B.A., Illinois Wesleyan University, 1990
Cell and Molecular Biology
Research Categories: Understanding morphogenetic mechanisms in development: modeling invasive cellular behavior
Research Description: Our lab is broadly interested in understanding mechanisms that drive morphogenetic processes during animal development. We primarily use the model system C. elegans in our research and focus on an organogenesis event: the connection of the developing uterine and vulval tissues. One key aspect of this process is the invasion of a single uterine cell, the anchor cell, through the uterine and vulval basement membranes to initiate the uterine-vulval connection. The ability of cells to invade through basement membrane, the thin, dense, barrier-like extracellular matrix that surrounds most tissues, is crucial for many developmental processes and remains one of the least understood aspects in the progression of cancer. Anchor cell invasion is emerging as a powerful system to uncover novel molecular mechanisms controlling invasive behavior and we have begun to apply what we learn in the anchor cell to better understand how cancer cells become invasive. Our group also examines later aspects of uterine-vulval attachment and we have focused on control of cell division, cell-cell signaling, cell-cell attachments and basement membrane remodeling. To understand these processes our group combines genetic, genomic, molecular, cell biological and live-cell imaging techniques. Members of our group are trained in a diverse range of scientific approaches and join a vibrant scientific community at Duke University, the Research Triangle region and the worldwide group of worm researchers.
Areas of Interest:
- Schindler, A.J. and Sherwood D.R., Morphogenesis of the Caenorhabditis elegans vulva., WIREs Dev Biol (2012) [doi] [abs].
- Elliott J. Hagedorn, Joshua W. Ziel, Meghan A. Morrissey, Lara Linden, Zheng Wang, Qiuyi Chi, Sam A. Johnson and David R. Sherwood, The UNC-40(DCC) Receptor Mediates a Morphogenetic Switch that Directs C. elegans Anchor Cell Invasion Across Basement Membrane, Nature Cell Biology (Submitted, 2012) [abs] [author's comments].
- Z Wang, DR Sherwood, Dissection of Genetic Pathways in C. elegans., Methods in cell biology, vol. 106 (December, 2011), pp. 113-57 [doi] [abs].
- EJ Hagedorn, DR Sherwood, Cell invasion through basement membrane: the anchor cell breaches the barrier., Current opinion in cell biology, vol. 23 no. 5 (October, 2011), pp. 589-96 [doi] [abs].
- AJ Schindler, DR Sherwood, The transcription factor HLH-2/E/Daughterless regulates anchor cell invasion across basement membrane in C. elegans., Developmental biology, vol. 357 no. 2 (September, 2011), pp. 380-91 [doi] [abs].
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