Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology
Assistant Professor of Cell Biology
Duke University School of Medicine
Durham, NC 27710
E-mail: don (dot) fox (at) duke (dot) edu Website
1. ORGAN REPAIR AND REMODELING
While many organs use active stem cells to replenish and repair tissues, other highly regenerative organs lack active stem cells. Our lab uses genetic, genomic, and cell biological approaches to understand how organ repair and remodeling occur through the use of inducible repair mechanisms. Our model tissue, the Drosophila hindgut, possesses quiescent adult cells that can be induced to repair the tissue following injury. Further, during metamorphosis, this tissue undergoes a natural "injury" that prompts whole-scale organ regeneration.
2. POLYPLOIDY, CHROMOSOMAL INSTABILITY, AND CANCER
Chromosomal instability is a hallmark of cancer, yet its origins are poorly understood. One model for the origin and retention of instability and subsequent tumor aneuploidy is the formation of polyploid cells, which undergo error-prone division in vitro. During hindgut metamorphosis, polyploid cells divide as part of normal fly development. Strikingly, these polyploid divisions are also highly error-prone. Our lab characterizes polyploid cell cycles to identify the origins of this cancer-enabling phenomenon.