Faculty Profiles

Cynthia Bradham

Cynthia A. Bradham

Assistant Professor of Biology

PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1998
Areas of Interest: developmental biology; embryonic pattern formation; systems biology
(617) 358-5212

Bradham Lab website

Current Research

Our research is focused on understanding secondary (dorsal-ventral) axis specification and patterning in the sea urchin. We are interested in producing a systems-level description for this series of events that occur during the first 48 hours of development following fertilization. Sea urchin, a non-chordate deuterostome, is an ideal model organism for systems-level developmental studies. Genomic analysis has revealed that sea urchins share the diversity of signaling and transcriptional molecules with vertebrates, including humans, but lack the complexity associated with a duplicated genome. Further, sea urchin larvae are morphologically quite simple, being composed of approximately 15 cell types, and thus are accessible to detailed analysis of cell specification and cell-cell communication mechanisms. Finally, the use of gene regulatory networks to model developmental processes was pioneered in urchin, providing a strong precedent for this work. The lab is focused primarily on two projects: understanding how the peripheral nervous system is specified, and how the larval skeleton is patterned.

Courses Taught

  • BI 410/610 Cellular Aspects of Development and Differentiation
  • BI 735 Advanced Cell Biology

Selected Publications

  • Bradham CA, Oikonomou C, Kühn A, Core AB, Modell JM, McClay DR, and AJ Poustka (2009). Chordin is required for neural but not axial development in sea urchin embryos. Developmental Biology 328:221-233.
  • Bradham CA, McClay DR (2007). Secondary Axis Specification in Sea Urchin Embryos. Signal Transduction 7, 181.
  • The Sea Urchin Consortium (2006). The Genome of the Sea Urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. Science 314 (5801), 941.
  • Bradham C, Foltz KR, Beane WS, Arnone Mi, Rizzo F, Coffman JA, Mushegian A, Goel M, Morales J, Geneviere AM, Lapraz F, Robertson AJ, Kelkar H, Loza-Coll M, Townley IK, Raisch M, Roux MM, Lepage T, Gache C, McClay DR, Manning G (2006). The Sea Urchin Kinome: A First Look. Developmental Biology 300 (1), 180.
  • Bradham CA, McClay DR (2006). p38 MAPK is Essential for Secondary Axis Specification and Patterning in Sea Urchin Embryos. Development 133, 21-32.
  • Bradham C, McClay DR (2006). p38 MAPK in Development and Cancer. Cell Cycle 5, 824-8.
  • Bradham CA, Miranda EL, McClay DR (2004). PI3K Inhibitors Block Skeletogenesis But Not Patterning in Sea Urchin Embryos. Developmental Dynamics 229 (4), 713-21.

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