Development & Disease
We use organisms selected for their unique phylogenetic position or their experimental utility to uncover fundamental genetic and cellular underpinnings of development and homeostasis, and ask how alterations to these processes can lead to evolutionary changes or disease. 

James D Baker

Research Asst. Professor

(305) 284-9055
I study the mechanisms that regulate and underlie ciliary development in animals (Drosophila in particular).  While cilia are ubiquitous on animal cells and intriguing for their fantastic ultrastructure, they have only recently been recognized as having fundamental roles in development and human disease.  In my lab we...

William E Browne

Asst. Professor

(305) 284-3319
Research in my lab is focused on investigating patterns of change underlying animal diversity.  We employ a wide range of experimental approaches to explore the molecular genetic relationship between genotype and phenotype from both developmental and evolutionary perspectives. Current work in the lab primarily use cultures of the lobate...

Akira Chiba


(305) 284-3510
Akira Chiba is a biology professor at the University of Miami. His main research area is molecular neuroscience. Chiba's own science has ‘evolved’ following his lab’s relocation from Illinois to Miami in 2007. In the ocean that surrounds and on the islands at places not so...

Kevin M Collins

Assoc. Professor

(305) 284-9058
Our fundamental goal is to understand how neurons communicate in circuits to establish an appropriate level of activity that produces a robust, stable behavior. Our approach is to analyze in detail a model neural circuit that controls egg-laying behavior in the nematode C. elegans. We are taking advantage of the optical clarity and powerful...

Julia Dallman

Assoc. Professor

(305) 284-3954
Determining the mechanisms by which genes influence behavior is the central goal of my research program. The genome-sequencing revolution has identified thousands of genetic mutations that cause neurological disorders that impact human behavior. For any given disorder, mutations in hundreds of different genes can similarly affect behavior, and...

Thomas Lisse

Asst. Professor

(305) 284-3957
Our lab is interested in answering fundamental questions how eukaryotic cells control their migration, survival and self-renewal during homeostasis and in response to injury and disease. Our long-term goal is to understand how growth factor and steroid hormone signaling pathways distinctly regulate skin cells to control the hair cycle and hair...

Zhongmin Lu

Assoc. Professor

(305) 284-5048
I am interested in sensory neurobiology with the primary focus on the sense of hearing. My Previous work emphasized on central auditory processing, sound localization, and ultrasonic detection in fish. The current research of my lab is to use the zebrafish (Danio rerio) to model hearing disorders in humans. The zebrafish has become an...

Lena Maria Mueller

Asst. Professor

Research in my lab aims to elucidate the molecular basis of an intimate partnership of plant roots and symbiotic soil fungi, referred to as arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) symbiosis. AM symbiosis is a mutually beneficial cross-kingdom species interaction centered on nutrient exchange: while the fungus provides the plant with mineral nutrients such as...

Sandra Rieger

Assoc. Professor

(305) 284-9935
How sensory nerve endings in the skin interact with skin cells, such as epidermal keratinocytes, is a fundamentally understudied research area. This knowledge ishowever highly important as these interactions promote wound repair and limb regeneration, and their perturbations are known to lead to disease conditions like peripheral neuropathy. The...

Athula H Wikramanayake, Ph.D.

Chair of Biology

(305) 284-4134
I am an evolutionary developmental biologist and my laboratory uses embryological, molecular, genomic and phylogenetic approaches to investigate the evolution of pattern formation in metazoan embryos. A major focus of my laboratory is to investigate the molecular basis for the evolution, specification and patterning of the animal-vegetal (AV)...

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