8-13 The lab welcomes a new postdoctoral research fellow, Yizhuo Zhou. Yizhuo recently was awarded her PhD in Cell Biology from the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences. Yizhuo's graduate work involved the role of Nanog in suppressing cell migration.

7-13 The paper by Pearson and Crews "Twine: display and analysis of cis-regulatory modules" was published in the journal Bioinformatics. This paper describes a computer program created by Joe Pearson for displaying and analyzing gene enhancers or cis-regulatory modules. This program called “Twine” is freely available for download. Twine can display multiple views of enhancer alignments that display DNA sequence motifs and transcription factor binding sites in the context of phylogenetic conservation.

4-13 Joseph Fontana, ex-postdoctoral fellow, begins a position as a research scientist at BASF in Research Triangle Park, NC. Congratulations to Joe on his new position.


12-12 Joseph Watson, ex-postdoctoral fellow, begins a position at Rho, a Chapel Hill-based contract research organization. Best wishes to Joseph for a productive career at Rho.

11-12 The paper by Manning et al. "A resource for manipulating gene expression and analyzing cis-regulatory modules in the Drosophila CNS" was published in Cell Reports. This paper was a collaboration with the labs of Chris Doe (Oregon/HHMI) and Gerry Rubin (JFRC/HHMI). Joe Pearson and Steve Crews carried out the analysis in our lab. One important aspect for midline cell biology is the identification of 438 Gal4 lines with striking midline expression.

10-12 The article "Transcriptome analysis of Drosophila CNS midline cells reveals diverse peptidergic properties and a role for castor in neuronal differentiation" by Joe Fontana and Stephen Crews was published in Developmental Biology and was selected as the cover article. This paper involves the use of FACS-purified midline cells and RNA-seq to determine the midline cell transcriptome at different developmental periods.

8-12 The article "Formation and specification of a Drosophila dopaminergic precursor cell" by Joseph Watson and Stephen Crews was published in Development.

5-12 The article "Drosophila melanogaster Zelda and Single-minded collaborate to regulate an evolutionarily dynamic CNS midline cell enhancer" by Pearson et al. was published in Developmental Biology. Authors are Joe Pearson, Joseph Watson, and Stephen Crews.

5-12 Alexandra "Tally" Balaban joined the lab as a research technician. Tally graduated from Duke University with a BS in Mathematics and Computational Biology.


11-11 The article "Time-lapse imaging reveals stereotypical patterns of Drosophila midline glial migration" was published in Developmental Biology. Authors are Scott Wheeler, Joe Pearson, and Stephen Crews.

10-11 Stephanie Stagg, ex-graduate student, begins postdoctoral research in Rebecca Yang's lab at Duke University. Dr. Yang's lab studies the neurobiology of Drosophila decision-making.

10-11 The article "Molecular and functional analysis of Drosophila single-minded larval central brain expression" by Freer et al. was published in Gene Expression Patterns. Stephanie Freer and Daniel Lau are co-first authors.

7-11 The lab was awarded an NIH/NINDS R01 grant "Molecular Genetics of Midline Glial Development" to run from 2011-2016.

5-11 The article "Dual role for Drosophila lethal of scute in CNS midline precursor formation and dopaminergic neuron and motoneuron cell fate" by Stagg et al. was published in Development.

4-11 Joseph Watson was awarded an NIH postdoctoral fellowship (NRSA). Congratulations to Joseph.

3-11 Article by Watson et al. entitled "Drosophila hedgehog signaling and engrailed-runt mutual repression direct midline glia to alternative ensheathing and non-ensheathing fates" was published in Development.


12-10 Stephanie Freer, graduate student, successfully defended her PhD thesis. The title of the thesis was "Regulation and Function of Drosophila single-minded in the Postembryonic Brain". Congratulations to Stephanie for an outstanding thesis and presentation.

8-10 Joe Pearson was awarded an NIH postdoctoral fellowship (NRSA). Congratulations to Joe.

4-10 In a banquet ceremony at the Carolina Inn, Diane Cook, lab Research Technician, was presented with a plaque and hearty handshake from Chancellor Thorp for becoming a member of Carolina's 20-Year Society. Congratulations and thanks to Diane for her 20 years of outstanding service.

4-10 Joseph Fontana joins the lab as a new postdoctoral fellow. Joe carried-out his graduate work with Jim Posakony at UCSD.

4-10 The latest publication in a series of papers on how the Drosophila Dysfusion bHLH-PAS transcription factor regulates tracheal gene expression was published. Lan Jiang, who is first author, is now further pursuing this research in her own lab at Oakland University.

4-10 Stephanie Stagg, graduate student, successfully defended her PhD thesis "Transcriptional Regulation of Drosophila Neural Development". Congratulations to Stephanie for an outstanding thesis.

1-10 The review article "Axon-glial interactions at the Drosophila CNS midline" was published in Cell Adhesion and Migration. This paper summarizes current research on Drosophila midline glia and how they migrate and interact with axons during development.


11-09 Publication by Wheeler et al. describing MidExDB, the CNS Midline Cell Gene Expression Database was published in BMC Developmental Biology.

6-09 Postdoc, Lan Jiang, has accepted a position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan. Congratulations to Lan, who will be starting her position in September.

5-09 Dan Lau, graduate student, successfully defended his PhD thesis, and is now Dr. Lau. His thesis dealt with how the single-minded gene controls Drosophila brain interhemispheric connectivity. Congratulations to Dan.

4-09 Postdoctoral fellow, Hsin-Lei Yao, has accepted a research position in the lab of Dr. Lu-Hai Wang. Dr. Wang is Director of the Division of Molecular and Genomic Medicine at the National Health Research Institutes in Taiwan.

4-09 Don't know much about the role of transcriptional autoregulation during development. No need to remain in the dark any longer. Steve Crews and Joe Pearson published a Primer on this subject in Current Biology.

3-09 MidExDB, Drosophila CNS Midline Gene Expression Database, is available on the Home page of our website. This searchable database contains images and expression information regarding 286 midline-expressed genes. There are also primers describing midline cell types and midline cell development.

3-09 Paper by Scott Wheeler et al. on Neurexin IV and Wrapper mediating midline glia-neuron adhesion was published in Development. This work was a collaboration between our lab and the UNC labs of Manzoor Bhat and Steve Rogers.


11-08 Postdoc, Joseph Watson, joins the lab. Joseph was a graduate student with David Miller at Vanderbilt working on C. elegans neurobiology.

9-08 Ex-undergrad, Marce Abare, begins medical school at the University of Michigan.

6-08 Paper by Scott Wheeler and Stephanie Stagg on the role of Notch signaling in midline cell development was published in Development.

5-08 Ex-undergrad, James Oh, is now working as a research tech in the labs of Joy Wu and Sean Wu at Massachusetts General Hospital. The work involves the use of embryonic stem cells in studying bone and cardiovascular system development.

5-08 Ex-"Honorary" lab member, Duojia Pan, now an Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has been named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.

5-08 Ex-undergraduate, Kenneth Hoadley, currently in Utila, Honduras will begin graduate school at UNC-Wilmington this fall to study marine biology.

5-08 Postdoctoral fellow, Amaris Guardiola, will join the Biology Department at Angelo State University (San Angelo, TX) as an Assistant Professor this fall.

5-08 Ex-grad student, Brian Mitchell, has accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology at Northwestern University School of Medicine.

5-08 Ex-grad student, Jack Mosher, is now an Assistant Research Scientist at the Center for Stem Cell Biology at the University of Michigan.

5-08 Postdoc, Hsin-Lei Yao joins the lab. Hsin-Lei received his PhD from UNC.

3-08 The paper by Jiang and Crews on the Drosophila Dead end gene (Dev. Biol. 311: 487-499, 2007) was selected as a Recommended Read by Faculty of 1000.


12-07 Ex-postdoc, Joe Kearney, has moved to Asheville, NC to begin a career in clinical molecular diagnostics.

12-07 Ex-undergraduate, Kenneth Hoadley, returned to his home in Honduras after working to protect sea turtles off the coast of Costa Rica last year.

11-07 Lan Jiang was promoted to Research Assistant Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics.

9-07 Paper by Jiang et al. on the role of the Dead end GTPase on tracheal morphogenesis was published in Developmental Biology.

7-07 Paper by Jiang and Crews on the biochemistry and transcriptional specificity of the Dysfusion bHLH-PAS transcription factor was published in Journal of Biological Chemistry with cover photo.

7-07 Joe Pearson from UCSD joins the lab as a postdoctoral researcher. Joe is awarded an NIH-funded fellowship by the UNC Developmental Biology Training Program.


8-06 Paper by Jiang and Crews on control of tracheal migration, adhesion, and fusion was published in Molecular and Cellular Biology with cover photo.

7-06 Stephanie Stagg, graduate student, was awarded an NIH-funded fellowship by the UNC Developmental Biology Training Program.

5-06 Cara Perinetti, undergraduate researcher, has been accepted as a medical student for Fall 2006 at Stanford University School of Medicine.

4-06 Paper by Wheeler, Kearney, Guardiola, and Crews on CNS midline cell molecular maps was published in Developmental Biology.


9-05 Jenny Woodard, ex-Crews lab undergraduate begins graduate school at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

6-05 NIH awards a shared equipment grant for purchase of a confocal microscope to be used jointly with two other UNC labs.

6-05 Marce Abare, undergraduate researcher, is currently touring Asia (as usual) studying third world health care.

6-05 Cara Perinetti, undergraduate researcher, is carrying-out summer research in Japan on the use of endangered animals in traditional medicines. Research is sponsored by Class of 1938 and Neumann fellowships.

6-05 Scott Wheeler is awarded an NIH NRSA postdoctoral fellowship for 3 years.

5-05 Kristin Benjamin, ex-Crews lab undergraduate researcher, is accepted to graduate school at UC Berkeley.

5-05 Amaris Guardiola joins the lab as an NIH SPIRE postdoctoral fellow.


9-04 Paper by Kearney, Wheeler, Parente, and Crews on CNS midline cell gene profiling was published in Developmental Biology with cover photo.

8-04 Lara Andrachuk, ex-undergraduate researcher, was accepted to Medical School at the University of Flinders, Adelaide, Australia.

8-04 Joe Kearney was awarded an NIH NRSA postdoctoral fellowship for 3 years.

5-04 JaShaun Peele, former high-school RAP lab member, will be attending UNC Chapel Hill in Fall 2004.

5-04 Jenny Woodard, undergraduate researcher, graduated Phi Beta Kappa with Honors in Biology.

3-04 The paper by Jiang and Crews on the Drosophila dysfusion gene (Mol. Cell. Biol. 23:5625-37, 2003) was selected as a Recommended Read by Faculty of 1000 (Thanks, Benny).

3-04 Lan Jiang, postdoctoral fellow, has been promoted to Research Associate.

1-04 Robert Franks, ex-Crews lab graduate student, will assume Assistant Professor position in the Department of Genetics at North Carolina State University.


11-03 Jenny Woodard, undergraduate researcher, presented her research at the Triangle Undergraduate Research Symposium at Duke University.

9-03 Kristin Benjamin, ex-undergrad, was featured in Carolina Research for her work on Drosophila Single-minded. Kristin currently works in Steve Wasserman's Drosophila lab at the University of California San Diego.

9-03 Paper by Jiang and Crews on Drosophila dysfusion bHLH-PAS gene published in Molecular and Cellular Biology with cover photo.

9-03 Book "PAS Proteins: Sensors and Regulators of Development and Physiology" edited by Stephen Crews is published by Kluwer Academic Press. Buy it.