Jonathan J. Henry
Professor and Associate HeadDepartment of Cell and Developmental Biology
Chemical and Life Sciences Laboratory
University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign
Our research efforts are aimed at understanding processes which lead to the determination of cell fate during embryogenesis. In particular, this work examines the role of cell-cell or inductive interactions, one of the most important modes of cell determination in vertebrate embryos. The developing lens represents a model system for studying this process. While the cell/tissue interactions involved in lens formation have been well characterized, still relatively little is known of the molecular events responsible for lens formation. We have identified a large suite of genes that appear to play roles in lens cell determination and differentiation in the frog, Xenopus. Some details related to these genes can be obtained from our lab web site www.life.uiuc.edu/henry. Using various approaches, we are examining the expression and function of these genes in the processes of lens development and regeneration. We are also interested in identifying inducer substances which control lens development and regeneration in Xenopus. Other work examines the evolution of cell lineages and key developmental mechanisms that control cell fates and axial properties in a group of related lophotrochozoan marine invertebrates.
Lab MembershipsHenry Lab (Principal Investigator/Director)