I am delighted to announce that as of Jul 1st, 2016 the Ward lab has opened at the University of California, Santa Cruz in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. We are interested in how the remarkable complexity and noise of gene regulation is converted into the beautiful and precise cellular behaviors that drive animal development. We use a combination of genetics, molecular biology, microscopy, in vitro biochemistry, and genomics to determine how individual, evolutionarily conserved transcription factors regulate distinct gene expression programs controlling cell division and differentiation and organ development in living animals. We are especially interested in transcription factor regulation of two cellular processes: i) development of the nematode vulva, which is a paradigm of organogenesis; and ii) the nematode molt, which is the shedding of the old skin (cuticle) and generation of a new one. We also extend our findings into the human parasitic nematode Brugia malayi, which causes the disfiguring disease lymphatic filariasis, in an effort to understand how the gene regulatory networks evolve in the context of a parasitic life cycle. For more information, visit our lab website: http://www.jordandward.com


Positions are available at all levels for enthusiastic, collaborative scientists interested in both basic research and translating these findings to combating neglected tropical diseases. Write to Jordan D. Ward if interested: jward2@ucsc.edu