The Strome Lab


Germ cells, the cells that give rise to eggs and sperm, have special properties.  They are the only cells in the body that are immortal - this allows them to be passed from generation to generation.  They are also the only cells in the body that are totipotent - this allows them to generate all of the diverse cell types of the body in each generation.  Our lab investigates the molecular mechanisms by which germ cells establish and maintain their identity, immortality, and totipotency, using the model organism C. elegans.  Our current focus areas are control of germ cell fate, immortality, and X chromosome biology by the MES chromatin regulators; antagonism of germ cell fate by the synMuv B repressors; and extension of the nuclear pore complex environment in germ cells by cytoplasmic P granules.  All of these regulators are conserved across species, and we anticipate that our studies in worms will shed light on the functions of the mammalian counterparts in germ cell development, stem cell biology, and cancer.


Research Overview