PhD, Cornell University, 1988.
BS, Cornell University, 1982.
My research involves studying how cells interact with each other and how this interaction leads to cellular
differentiation. Myxococcus xanthus, is a Gram negative, soil bacterium that initiates development upon
nutrient limitation. During this time, the rod-shaped vegetative cells changes into spores. This developmental
cycle requires cell-cell signaling. We want to understand how one signal works early during development.
This signal, termed A signal, allows the cells to sense their environment and then react in an appropriate manner. M. xanthus is an excellent system to study cell-cell signaling because it is a prokaryote. Thus, it is
easy to use for biochemical and genetic studies. It is also the only prokaryote that proceeds through development
multicellularly. Thus, understanding this system may help to understand more complex systems.