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Robert Angerer, Ph.D.

Robert Angerer, Ph.D.Scientific Director, NIDCR
Senior Investigator
Developmental Mechanisms Section

BETHESDA MD 20892-4326

Phone: (301) 496-1483
Fax: (301) 480-5353

Biographical Sketch

I received my Ph.D. in 1973 from the Department of Biology, The Johns Hopkins University, conducting research on expression of repetitive sequence transcripts in mouse tissues. I then joined the laboratory of Roy J. Britten at the Kerckoff Marine Laboratory of Caltech where I studied comparative DNA sequence organization and evolution. I moved to Eric Davidson’s lab in Pasadena, where we used early cloning techniques to search for maternal transcripts in sea urchins embryos. After taking positions at the University of Rochester in 1978, Lynne Angerer and I set up a laboratory using molecular biological methods to study specification of cell fates in early sea urchin embryos. For the first 20 years I taught an advanced course in molecular biology of eukaryotic gene expression and then changed to introductory developmental biology. During the first few years there, we developed the technique of in situ hybridization to detect mRNAs using RNA probes. We applied this approach to map the transcriptional territories that form during development of the sea urchin embryo, which eventually led to the discoveries of several transcription factors that control ectoderm development. When we moved to NIDCR in 2004, I became the Scientific Director of the Division of Intramural Research and Lynne became the head of the Developmental Mechanisms Section. Using the newly sequenced sea urchin genome, we developed a microarray representing all the predicted protein sequences and used it in a series of screens to identify transcription factors and signal transduction pathways that pattern the neural and non-neural regions of ectoderm. Recent work includes the unexpected discovery of neuro-endoderm precursors, the stepwise mechanism of endomesoderm segregation, the multiple interactions between Wnt and Nodal signaling pathways to maintain embryo patterning along the anterior-posterior axis, and the finding that multiple Wnt pathways pattern early neuroectoderm.

Research Interests/Scientific Focus

Selected Publications

  1. Cox, K. H., DeLeon, D. V., Angerer, L. M. and Angerer, R. C., "Detection of mRNAs by in situ hybridization with asymmetric RNA probes", Dev. Biol. 101: 485-502 (1984).
  2. Reynolds, S.D., Angerer, L.M., Palis, J., Nasir, A. and Angerer,  R.C.  Early mRNAs, spatially restricted along the animal-vegetal axis of sea urchin embryos, include one encoding a protein related to tolloid and BMP-1.  Development 114:769-786 (1992).
  3. Kenny, A.P*., Kozlowski, D.J*., Oleksyn, D.W., Angerer, L.M. and Angerer, R.C. SpSoxB1, a maternally encoded transcription factor asymmetrically distributed among early sea urchin blastomeres.”  Development 126: 5473-5483 (1999).
  4. Angerer, L.M. and Angerer, R.C. “Patterning the sea urchin embryo:  gene regulatory networks, signaling pathways and cellular interactions.”  Current Topics Dev. Biol. 53: 159-198 (2003).
  5. Angerer, L.M., Oleksyn, D.W., Levine, A., Li, X., Klein, W.H. and Angerer, R.C.  Sea urchin goosecoid function links fate specification along the animal-vegetal and oral-aboral embryonic axes.”  Development 128: 4393-4404 (2001).
  6. Angerer, LM., Newman, L.A., Oleksyn, D.W. and Angerer, R.C.  SoxB1 down regulation in vegetal lineages of sea urchin embryos is achieved by both transcriptional repression and selective protein turnover.”  Development 132: 999-1008 (2005).
  7. Wei, Z., Angerer, R.C. and Angerer, L.M.  A database of mRNA expression patterns for the sea urchin embryo.  Dev. Biol. 300, 476-484 (2006).
  8. Yaguchi, S., Yaguchi, J., Angerer, R.C. and Angerer, L.M.  A Wnt-FoxQ2-nodal pathway links primary and secondary axis specification in sea urchin embryos.  Dev Cell 14, 97-107 (2008).
  9. Sethi, A, Angerer, R.C. and Angerer, L.M.  Sea urchin Gene Regulatory Networks I Endomesoderm Induction, PLOS, Biology 7(2), e1000029 (2009)
  10. Wei, Z., Yaguchi, J., Yaguchi, S., Angerer, R. C. and Angerer, L.M.  The sea urchin animal pole domain is a Six3-dependent neurogenic patterning center.  Development 136, 1179-1189 (2009).
  11. Wei, Z, Angerer, RC, Angerer, LM  Direct development of neurons within foregut endoderm of sea urchin embryos.  Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci USA, 108, 9143-9147.  Highlighted “In this issue” (2011).
  12. Angerer, LM, Yaguchi, S, Angerer, RC and Burke, RD  The evolution of nervous system patterning: insights from sea urchin development.  Development 138: 3613-3623 (2011).
  13. Adams, DK, Sewell, MA, Angerer, RC, and Angerer, LM Rapid adaptation to food availability by a dopamine-mediated morphogenetic response.  Nature Comm, 2:592 (2011)
  14. Sethi, AS, Wikramanayake, RM, Angerer, RC, Range, R and Angerer, LM  Sequential signaling crosstalk regulates endomesoderm segregation in sea urchin embryos. Science 335:590 (2012)
  15. Wei, Z, Range, R, Angerer R and Angerer, L  Axial patterning interactions in the sea urchin embryo: suppression of nodal by Wnt1 signaling.  Development 239:1662-1669 (2012).

Complete CV and Publications (PDF File, 157KB)

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This page last updated: August 01, 2014