Development and Genetics
Genetics is a major unifying theme of research at SBE through its importance in integrative cellular, organismal, and evolutionary biology. We apply tools of genomics, forward genetics, biochemistry, microscopy, computational modeling and bioinformatics to tackle questions about a variety of animal and plant models. We study, for instance, muscle morphogenesis and cardiac function in vertebrate and invertebrate models, genetic regulatory networks in plant models, mechanisms of fungal pathogenesis, and plant phylogenomics. How students grasp and learn to apply concepts of genetics is also a special focus of our research on undergraduate learning.
Research projects in genetics at SBE are supported by the major federal agencies in science such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and by various non-profit organizations and commodity boards of the U.S. and Maine. Collaborative partnerships with other scientists on campus (Dept. of Molecular
and Biomedical Sciences, School of Marine Sciences, RISE Center) and across the state (Jackson Laboratory, Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, Eastern Maine Medical Center, Maine Medical Center Research Institute) are critical to the broad reach and applicability of our research. Geneticists at SBE also collaborate on international projects with scientists from Singapore, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Australia, Brazil, and Canada. Many of our students participate in various interdisciplinary graduate programs, including the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Ecology and Environmental Sciences Graduate Program, and the Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Plant Sciences.