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.
For more information about my research, please visit: