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Mark Rebeiz

University of Pittsburgh
202 Life Sciences Annex
5th and Ruskin Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260


Taxa Studied: Invertebrate Animals
Techniques Employed: Degenerate PCR, Bioinformatics/Sequence Analysis, In Situ Hybridization, Antibody Staining, RNA interference(RNAi), Scanning Electron Microscopy, Confocal Microscopy, Time-Lapse Microscopy, Transgenesis, Mutagenesis
Research Description: Our lab is focused on understanding how complex developmental programs that control morphology evolve. To do this, we study rapidly evolving traits of Drosophila melanogaster and its close relatives. Topics include: How does regulatory complexity evolve? Every location where a gene is expressed (gene expression pattern) arose at some point in the past, yet the evolutionary origins of these patterns remain murky. In a hunt for newly evolved expression patterns, we are investigating the molecular mechanisms that generate new patterns, and the origins of regulatory sequences that control gene expression. How do networks of genes evolve to generate complex phenotypes? We are studying highly divergent pigmentation patterns of closely related Drosophila species as a model to understand the intricate web of genes and mutations that underlie complex traits. How does shape evolve? Most of the diversity we appreciate in nature has three dimensions, and yet we still lack the fundamental insights into how tissue architecture evolves over eons. Using the wildly divergent morphology of Drosophila genitalia, we are investigating genes and mutations that cause these elaborate structures to take form.
Lab Web Page: http://www.pitt.edu/~rebeiz/Rebeiz_Lab/Home.html
Willing to Host Undergraduates: YES
Actively Seeking Undergraduates: YES
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