David R. Sherwood, Ph.D.

Title
Associate Professor of Biology
Department
Department of Biology
Institution
Duke University
Address
French Family Science Center
Room #4244
City, State, Zip
Durham, NC 27708
Phone
(919) 613-8192
E-mail
david.sherwood[at]duke.edu
Website
http://sites.duke.edu/sherwoodlab/
Research Field
Cell Biology; Developmental Biology
Award Year
2007

Research

Our long-term goal is to elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate cell invasion through basement membrane, the dense, highly cross-linked, sheet-like extracellular matrix that underlies most cells and tissues. To gain insights into cell invasive behavior, our group is analyzing anchor-cell (AC) invasion into the vulval epithelium in Caenorhabditis elegans, a simple, experimentally accessible cell invasion event. Connection of the uterus and vulva in C. elegans is initiated by the uterine AC, which invades through two basement membranes to establish contact with the central vulval cells. Our lab combines single-cell visualization with forward genetic and functional genomic approaches to understand the fundamental mechanisms that control cell invasive behavior. Ultimately, it is our goal to apply what we learn from C. elegans towards new therapeutic strategies to block or regulate cell invasion in development and cancer.