TTUHSC School of Medicine
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Cell Biology and Biochemistry


Thomas

Jeffrey H. Thomas, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Ph.D. Biology
MIT, 1997

Department of Cell Biology and Biochemistry
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
3601 Fourth Street, STOP 6540
Lubbock, TX 79430
Phone: (806) 743-2700 X285
FAX: (806) 743-2990

jeffrey.thomas@ttuhsc.edu


Research Interests

Morphogenesis, embryonic development, tissue folding, cell shape change, gastrulation, actomyosin dynamics, cytoskeleton, signal transduction.


Current projects  |  Selected publications  |  laboratory  |  curriculum vitae


Current Projects

Morphogenesis of the cephalic furrow

In this project, we study the cell shape changes and tissue movements involved in cephalic furrow formation during Drosophila gastrulation.  During cephalic furrow formation, the cellular blastoderm invaginates into the embryo as a simple fold, retaining its epithelial character.  We are investigating the morphogenetic processes and forces involved in remodeling the embryonic blastoderm during cephalic furrow formation.  We are also taking a genetic approach to identify the genes that control this process.  We have identified several genes and are currently analyzing their cellular functions.

 Regulation of microfilament dynamics during development

In this project, we study the role of actomyosin dynamics during cellularization, the process of forming cells in the multinucleate Drosophila embryo.  During this stage of development, a lattice-like network of interconnected microfilament rings encompasses the entire embryo.  We have found that src64 is involved in regulating the contraction of these microfilament rings.  We are currently taking a genetic approach to investigate how nonmuscle myosin II is regulated during cellularization.

Src64 signaling during Drosophila development

In this project, we study signal transduction by Src64, a nonreceptor tyrosine kinase homologous to vertebrate src.  We are investigating the functions of Src64 signaling in the development of the Drosophila embryo.  We are also investigating fundamental aspects of tyrosine kinase signaling by analyzing mutations that alter Src64 signaling activity and by identifying other proteins that participate in Src64-mediated signaling pathways.


Selected Publications

  • Taylor C. Strong, Gurvinder Kaur and Jeffrey H. Thomas. (2011). Mutations in the catalytic loop HRD motif alter the activity and function of Drosophila Src64. PLoS ONE 6: e28100.
  • Taylor C. Strong and Jeffrey H. Thomas. (2011). Maternal and zygotic requirements for src64 during Drosophila cellularization. Genesis 49: 912-918.
  •  Jeffrey H. Thomas and Eric Wieschaus. (2004). src64 and tec29 are required for microfilament contraction during Drosophila cellularization. Development 131: 863-871.
  •  Jeffrey H. Thomas, Craig J. Ceol, Hillel T. Schwartz and H. Robert Horvitz. (2003).  New genes that interact with lin-35 Rb to negatively regulate the let-60 ras pathway in Caenorhabditis elegans.  Genetics 164: 135-151.
  •  Jeffrey H. Thomas and H. Robert Horvitz. (1999). The C. elegans gene lin-36 acts cell autonomously in the lin-35 Rb pathway. Development 126: 3449-3459.

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