Research Expertise and Interest

genetics, cancer, Drosophila, cell biology, cell polarity, tumor suppressor, epithelial architecture, polarity, and proliferation control, tumor-host interaction, morphogenesis

Research Description

David Bilder is a professor of Cell and Developmental Biology and Affiliate, Division of Genetics and Development.  Research in his laboratory focuses on the biology of epithelia, the fundamental tissue of all animals and the major constituent of human organs.  They study the molecules and mechanisms that govern epithelial polarity, cell shape, and tissue morphogenesis, often using forward genetic screens in Drosophila as entry points.  They also seek to understand how epithelial organization promotes the proper control of organ growth, a surprising connection uncovered by our analysis of fly tumor suppressor genes that represents a general principle relevant to human cancer.  Finally, they use Drosophila cancer models as a simple system to understand how tumors actually kill their hosts.

In the News

Can fruit fly research help improve survival of cancer patients?

The experience of a fruit fly dying from cancer may seem worlds away from that of a human with a life-threatening tumor, yet University of California, Berkeley, researchers are finding commonalities between the two that could lead to ways to prolong the lives of cancer patients.
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