Dynamics of BMP signaling. Note the broad, weak signal early, that refines into a narrow, intense signal by the end.


In our lab, we are interested in identifying how cells in a multicellular organism interpret signals and make decisions, and how the decision-making process adheres to known engineering principles. The ultimate goal is to translate our knowledge to applications such as medicine, stem cell biology, and tissue engineering. Find out more...

Recent News

26 Aug

Reeves lab submits major review article

The Reeves lab has focused on quantitative and computational aspects of the Drosophila Dorsal/NF-κB network, and has published or submitted several papers on this topic since 2015. Furthermore, as a postdoc, Dr. Reeves had also published highly-cited articles on quantitative discoveries of the shape and dynamics of the Dorsal gradient. Therefore, we are pleased to have just submitted a comprehensive review article on this system, with authors Allison Schloop and Prasad Bandodkar. The article has a specific focus on the quantitative and computational aspects of the Dorsal gradient network. This work should go to press to appear in March, 2020.

19 Aug

Reeves lab posts three manuscripts to bioRχiv

The Reeves lab has posted three manuscripts to bioRχiv, the most prominent preprint server for biological research. In the first manuscript, in collaboration with Dr. Chase Beisel's lab and with lead author Dr. Thomas Jacobsen, we characterize the use of self-cleaving ribozymes for regulating gene expression. The work was performed in mammalian cells and Drosophila embryos, demonstrating the versatility of this gene regulation tool in multiple organisms. Read more here.

In the second manuscript, we describe in detail the mechanism and phenotypes of facilitated diffusion (or shuttling) of Dorsal by Cactus in the early Drosophila embryo. This is a diffusion mechanism we have published previously, showing that, counterintuitively, it causes Dorsal to accumulate on one side of the embryo. Furthermore, we suspect it is necessary to achieve the peak levels of Dorsal signaling in the embryo. In the new manuscript, we also show that it is important for cross-talk with the BMP pathway. Read more here.

In the third study, we show that the Dorsal gradient is robust to changes in the initial amount of Dorsal in the embryo. Furthermore, we show that both shuttling (referred to above) and the presence of the inhibitor Cactus in the nucleus (see also our previous work here), are required for this robustness. Read more here.

21 Jun

Dr. Reeves publishes in JBE

Dr. Reeves had a paper published in the "Emerging leaders in biological engineering" thematic series of the Journal of Biological Engineering. Gene regulation is paramount in all aspects of biology, and one of the main motifs in gene regulation is the feedforward loop. Inspired by engineering principles found in man-made systems, Dr. Reeves shows that feedforward control in biology can be aided by adding feedback control to the gene regulation. He also shows that genetic feedback loops are present in E. coli, which was previously unreported.Read more here.

10 Jun

Reeves lab secures NSF funding

Dr. Reeves has received funding from the NSF to begin quantitative and computational work on the Dorsal/NF-κB signaling network in the Drosophila embryo. One of the paradoxes of "systems biology" is that mathematical models are needed to help interpret data on such a large scale, yet the models themselves are so large that many their unknowns hinder interpretation. The project will break down the individual processes in the system to focus on them individually. Once those are well-understood, the full system can be elucidated. Read more here.

13 May

Thomas Jacobsen earns his Ph.D!

Tom Jacobsen, co-advised by Dr. Reeves and Dr. Chase Beisel (Helmholts Inst.) successfully defended his Ph.D. work today. His projects focused on methods of gene regulation using CRISPR and self-cleaving ribozymes. He has been an invaluable member of the Reeves lab in both his mentoring of younger graduate students and undergraduates, as well as providing research expertise to aid in compile multiple manuscripts as contributing author. Congratulations Tom!

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