Donald Fox, Ph.D.

Donald Fox, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology
Assistant Professor of Cell Biology

Duke University School of Medicine
Box 3813
Durham, NC 27710

Phone: 919-613-8756
E-mail: don (dot) fox (at) duke (dot) edu

Research Interests

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.

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.

Representative Publications

Bretscher, HS, and Fox, DT. "Proliferation of Double-Strand Break-Resistant Polyploid Cells Requires Drosophila FANCD2." Developmental cell 37, no. 5 (June 2016): 444-457.  Full Text

Stormo, BM, and Fox, DT. "Distinct responses to reduplicated chromosomes require distinct Mad2 responses." eLife 5 (May 9, 2016).  Full Text

Schoenfelder, KP, and Fox, DT. "The expanding implications of polyploidy." The Journal of cell biology 209, no. 4 (May 2015): 485-491. (Review)  Full Text

Schoenfelder, KP, Montague, RA, Paramore, SV, Lennox, AL, Mahowald, AP, and Fox, DT. "Indispensable pre-mitotic endocycles promote aneuploidy in the Drosophila rectum." Development (Cambridge, England) 141, no. 18 (September 2014): 3551-3560.  Full Text 

Losick, VP, Fox, DT, and Spradling, AC. "Polyploidization and cell fusion contribute to wound healing in the adult Drosophila epithelium." Current Biology 23, no. 22 (November 18, 2013): 2224-2232.  Full Text