Transcription regulatory networks in Drosophila development

Human disease is frequently associated with aberrant signal transduction components, DNA-binding transcription factors and chromatin modifying enzymes, yet how these components regulate specific biological outcomes is largely unknown. There is therefore a critical need to understand how regulatory proteins affect global gene expression and cellular behavior in a context-specific manner.

The long-term goal of our research is to identify predictive rules by which gene expression programs are established in an organism and apply them to human disease. It is known that gene expression programs are specified by signal transduction pathways that are activated by signals from neighboring cells during development. However, how these signal transduction pathways regulate gene expression is highly context-dependent. Based on current knowledge, gene regulation depends on two principles, combinatorial regulation and (epigenetic) cellular memory. We are studying both principles in Drosophila using genome-wide techniques that map protein-DNA interaction, expression analysis, computational methods and classical Drosophila genetics.




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Stowers Insitute for Medical Research

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09.16.15 - The Zeitlinger lab has openings for a Research Specialist with a strong background in experimental techniques in transcription, as well as Postdoctoral Research Associate with a strong background in developmental biology or genomics. [Read More...]

Urgent! How genes tell cellular construction crews, “Read me now!”

Stowers researchers show that DNA sequences at the beginning of genes—at least in fruit flies— contain more information than previously thought. Read the full press release at:

Understanding the Cellular Patterns of Development

December 27, 2012 - New paper in Cell Reports finds that one key mechanism in development involves ‘paused’ RNA polymerase. New research by Zeitlinger’s lab, described in the December 27, 2012, issue of Cell Reports, has revealed more about the role of paused RNA polymerase in embryonic development.

Stowers scientist, Dr. Julia Zeitlinger Awarded 2012 Hudson Prize

May 23, 2012 - Dr. Julia Zeitlinger has been named the recipient of the 2012 Hudson Prize by the M.R. and Evelyn Hudson Foundation. Through the Hudson Prize, the Texas-based M.R. and Evelyn Hudson Foundation encourages early career scientists to pursue research that leads to important medical breakthroughs and treatments.

Stowers Insitute Ranks Among the Top Ten Places for Postdocs Nationwide

March 29, 2012 - The Stowers Institute for Medical Research was ranked among the top 10 U.S. institutions listed as “Best Places to Work: Postdocs,” The Scientist announced today.

Stowers Institute ranked among top three places to work worldwide

August 1, 2012 - The Stowers Institute for Medical Research clocks in among the top three institutes in the annual "Best Places to Work in Academia" survey by The Scientist magazine.