Rochester, Minnesota




Dr. Stephen C. Ekker's zebrafish genetics laboratory is focused on one major next step in the post-genomics era: Assignment of genes and gene sets critical in vertebrate patterning and organogenesis.

Dr. Ekker's lab has developed two approaches for the identification of new genes and genetic networks: vertebrate transposons and morpholino antisense oligonucleotides for molecular genetic manipulation of the zebrafish. We are undertaking a morpholino-based screen of the major subset of the genome encoded by co-translationally translocated proteins to identify novel key players critical for clinically relevant processes such as blood vessel, sensory organ and kidney development. We have also developed gene-breaking transposons as insertional mutagens, a tool that opens the door to an array of important questions such as the genetic basis of nicotine sensitization, a critical process that underlies nicotine addiction. These two reagents, morpholinos and mutagenic transposons, are powerful tools for use in true functional genomics applications in the model vertebrate, the zebrafish.

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Primary Appointment

  1. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Academic Rank

  1. Professor of Biochemistry/Molecular Biology


  1. Post-doctoral Fellowship - Biochemical Properties and Biological Activities of the hedgehog Gene Family, Philip A. Beachy, advisor Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  2. Post-doctoral Fellowship - Randall T. Moon, collaborative advisor University of Washington and Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  3. Doctor of Philosophy - Molecular Biology and Genetics The Johns Hopkins University
  4. BS - Electrical Engineering University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  5. Research Student - Restriction Mapping the Genome of the Archaebacterium Sulfolobus solfataricus; C.R. Woese, advisor University of Illinois

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