Jeremy B.A. Green

King's College London, United Kingdom


After a Ph.D. on gene regulation in yeast fermentation at Imperial College London and bioinformatics work at EMBL, I did a four-year postdoc with Jim C. Smith (then at the MRC, NIMR, Mill Hill) studying early patterning in Xenopus embryos. There, I worked on the mesoderm-inducing growth factors FGF and activin. In particular, showed that activin is a morphogen (a patterning molecule previously theorized as directing different types of cell differentiation depending on its local concentration via cell-intrinsic dose-thresholds). This was the first growth factor shown to have such properties and established the growth-factor-as-patterning-molecule paradigm, now a axiom of developmental biology. I was a Miller Fellow at UC Berkeley mentored by Profs. John Gerhart and Ray Keller where I studied the progressive elaboration of threshold responses of cells to patterning growth factors and the ability of induced cells to physically organise themselves into an axis. I began my own lab at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston as Faculty in the Department of Genetics of Harvard Medical School. There I became interested in cell polarity as the forerunner of all longer range pattering in development. My group identified the role of an intracellular gradient of the transcription factor VegT in the animal-vegetal axis of the egg and an discrete domain of depletion of the beta-catenin-regulating kinase GSK3beta in the prospective dorsoanterior region of the zygote. My group cloned Xenopus homologues of the polarity protein PAR-1 and found that it, and the related PAR-4/LKB1, are both essential regulators of the Wnt-beta-catenin pathway during development. Intriguingly, subtly different isoforms of PAR-1 regulate two distinct branches of Wnt signalling, namely the "canonical" Wnt-beta-catenin pathway and the Wnt-PCP or Planar Cell Polarity pathway. Recently my group has identified functions of PAR-1 in mitotic spindle orientation and neurogenesis.

Biography Updated on 29 November 2011

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