A shared genetic basis for development of the nervous system and glands (2008–2010)
Recently, researchers have found that some mouse glands, the goblet cells, share genetic and developmental pathways with the nervous system: they use a common proneural gene. I have found similar parallels in insects, suggesting that the gland and nervous systems are developmentally linked in both insects and mammals. If this holds true, the fruit fly could be an informative model for understanding diseases associated with gland malfunction such as intestinal metaplasia. I will use the powerful genetic approaches available in the fruit fly to determine the genes involved in gland formation and establish whether the developmental pathways are similar to the fly s sensory system, and to the human nervous system.