Title: Faculty & research interests





Oliver  Hobert
Oliver Hobert, PhD
HHMI Investigator

Full Member

Department: Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics


Personal Website

Disease Models:

Stem Cell Categories: neural

Model Organisms: C. elegans

Themes: Stem Cell Biology

Dr.Oliver Hobert is the Director of the Training Program "Stem cells and cell lineage specification". He is on the training faculty of the Department of Genetics and Development and the Department of Biological Sciences, and is the Chair of Graduate Admission of the Doctoral Program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics. He has also been involved in continuing education of high school teachers.

The Hobert lab investigates a variety of cell lineage differentiation programs using genetic approaches in the nematode C.elegans. They have elucidated regulatory pathways that include transcription factors and miRNAs as determinants for specific sensory and interneuron cell fate decisions. More recently they have begun to investigate lineage specification events that lead to the generation of dopaminergic neurons. The lab has taken a genomic approach to decode the cis-regulatory architecture of dopamine neuron differentiation and have taken forward genetic screening approaches to identify and characterize genes involved in dopaminergic lineage differentiation. Dr. Hobert's lab has also focused on characterizing the function of a POU homeobox gene, unc-86 in dopamine neuron differentiation. In unc-86 mutants, the sister lineage of a specific dopaminergic neuron class (PDE neurons) fails to differentiate appropriately; rather the mother cells that produces the PDE neurons continues to proliferate in a stem cell-like pattern, given rise to an aberrant number of dopaminergic PDE neurons. The unc-86 gene provides an excellent molecular entry point for an improved understanding how stem cell-like cell divisions relate to the execution of specific lineage differentiation programs.

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