DEBORAH J. ANDREW Professor, Department of Cell Biology, Johns Hopkins University

Topic: Building body parts:  Lessons learned from simple critters

Deborah Andrew’s research has focused on Drosophila developmental genetics since 1979, when she began her Master’s thesis. Since that time, Andrew’s lab (either she or someone in her group) has done almost every manipulation reported for this organism, ranging from imaginal disc transplantation to creating targeted gene knockouts by homologous recombination and CRISPR/CAS9. Her lab has done microarrays, co-immunoprecipitations, chromatin immunoprecipitations, Southerns, Northerns, Westerns, EMSAs, qRT-PCR, library screens, and enzyme assays. They have done immunostaining, histolology, in situs, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, confocal imaging, and have developed the tools for live multiphoton imaging of deep tissues. They have done chemical mutagenesis screens, generated both loss-of-function and overexpression clones, and created numerous transgenic fly lines, including transformations with heat shock, Gal4, UAS, reporter lacZ and genomic [cosmid] constructs. They have generated antibodies to several proteins (Scr, Trachealess, CrebA, Sage, Ribbon, Pasilla, Dsc73, WRS, Titin, PH4αSG1, PH4αSG2, Sano, Dmt, Tbc-1, Jbug, Outspread), which has helped their research and that of many other labs. They have mapped both genes and proteins to salivary gland polytene chromosomes and have worked with Drosophila S2, human HeLa and Hep2 cells. They have the technical abilities to carry out the proposed studies.

Andrew taught in both graduate and medical school courses every year since arriving at Hopkins, directing a course in Developmental Biology for both groups for several years. She also teach graduate genetics and medical school cell physiology. She trained eleven post-docs (five current), ten graduate students (one current), six technicians (one current) and numerous undergraduates (three current), working closely with all of them, since her lab size has always been reasonably small – eight people maximum and often fewer at any given time. She served as a regular member of the CDF5/Dev-2 study section and as an ad hoc reviewer for other study sections/special emphasis panels, as well as participating in NIH in-house reviews.

Since establishing her own lab in 1993, Andrew’s studies have focused on the specification, morphogenesis and cell type specialization of two tubular organs, the Drosophila salivary gland and trachea. The lab has published many primary papers describing the roles of several transcription factors and their downstream targets in organ development. She has been invited to write reviews on organ formation in major developmental and cell biology journals, including Mechanisms of Development, BioEssays, Trends in Cell Biology, Developmental Biology, Journal of Cell Science, Differentiation, WIRES Developmental Biology, and Frontiers in Biology. She is a regular reviewer for several general (Cell, Science, Nature, PLoS Genetics, PLoS Biology), cell biology (JCB, MCB, JCS) and development-specific (Development, Dev.Biol., MOD, Differentiation) journals and served on the editorial board for Developmental Dynamics from 2008 – 2015. This past year, she was co-editor on a special issue of Current Opinion in Genes and Development on Organogenesis.