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James A. Coffman

Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory
PO Box 35
Old Bar Harbor Road
Salisbury Cove, ME 4672

207-288-9880 Ext. 444

Taxa Studied: Invertebrate Animals
Techniques Employed: Quantitative PCR (qPCR), Microarrays, Sanger Sequencing, Solexa (Illumina) Sequencing, SOLiD Sequencing, Bioinformatics/Sequence Analysis, In Situ Hybridization, Antibody Staining, Epifluoresence Microscopy, Confocal Microscopy, Time-Lapse Microscopy, RNA interference(RNAi), Morpholinos
Research Description: The Coffman lab studies the developmental physiology of sea urchins and other echinoderms. We take both "inside-out" and "outside-in" approaches, investigating the inherited genetic and epigenetic regulatory circuitry that controls embryogenesis and regenerative development, and how this circuitry is affected by changing environmental conditions and stress. A long term goal of this research is to elucidate the relationship between ontogeny and cellular responsiveness to environmental conditions. Questions we are currently addressing in the lab include: (1) How does environmental stress affect the regulative development of sea urchin embryos? (2) How is the developmental plasticity of echinoderm larvae regulated by nutritional cues? (3) How do processes that control growth affect regenerative capacity? Key methodologies that we use in the lab include: (1) Comparative genomics (Bioinformatics, RNAseq, qPCR) (2) Gene knockdown (morpholino antisense and RNAi) (3) Biochemistry (4) Whole-mount in situ hybridization (5) Fluorescence microscopy (confocal and widefield) (6) Morphometrics
Lab Web Page: http://www.mdibl.org/faculty/James_A_Coffman/112/
Willing to Host Undergraduates: YES
Actively Seeking Undergraduates: YES
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