Robert E. Boswell, Ph.D.

Robert Boswell
Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
University of Colorado, Boulder
347 UCB
City, State, Zip
Boulder, CO 80309-0347
(303) 492-8565
Research Field
Award Year


In the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster, inductive interactions between the germline-derived oocyte and the overlying somatic posterior follicle cells are crucial for the defining the axes of the oocyte. Proper formation of the axes during oogenesis is also important for delineation of the major body axes of the embryo and adult. In addition, posterior follicle cell-to-oocyte signaling results in the accumulation of specific proteins and RNAs within a specialized region of cytoplasm at the posterior of the oocyte. The proteins and RNAs localized within this subcellular compartment are indispensable for the differentiation of germ cells and abdominal segmentation of the embryo. Thus, the posterior pole cytoplasm has been designated as germ plasm. Although these inductive interactions are critical for defining the axes and determination of the germline, thus far, few components that function within the oocyte to regulate this important signal transduction pathway have been identified. Our strategy is to use genetic and molecular techniques to identify and characterize genes essential for delineating the body axes and germ cell determination in Drosophila. Our long-term goals are to elucidate the molecular mechanisms involved in defining the major body axis and assembly of germ plasm components.

Search Pew Scholars