Associate Professor of Biology
Director of Graduate Studies
Cell death plays a central role in development and in many diseases. The research in my laboratory is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms of programmed cell death and its role in development. The model that we are using is the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster, an organism with unique advantages in genetics and cell biology. A major interest of the lab is germline cell death, which can occur at several distinct stages in the fly ovary. The death of nurse cells in late oogenesis is developmentally programmed and occurs rapidly and synchronously in clusters as each oocyte develops. Germline cell death can also occur in response to starvation or other insults. We have found that distinct components of the cell death machinery are required for the different types of cell death in the ovary. We are currently using genetic and molecular approaches to identify other components of the cell death pathways in the ovary. Given the high degree of evolutionary conservation of known cell death mechanisms, we expect that pathways that we uncover in the fly ovary will be conserved in humans.
- BI 572 Advanced Genetics
- BI 576 Carcinogenesis
- Etchegaray JI, Timmons A, Klein AP, Pritchett TL, Welch E, Meehan TL, Li C, McCall K. (2012). Draper acts through the JNK pathway to control synchronous engulfment of dying germline cells by follicular epithelial cells, Development, 139:4029-4039.
- Pritchett TL, McCall K. (2012). Role of the insulin/Tor signaling network in starvation induced programmed cell death during Drosophila oogenesis. Cell Death and Differentiation, 19: 1069-79.
- Tanner EA, Blute TA, Brachmann CB, McCall K. (2011). Bcl-2 proteins and autophagy regulate mitochondrial dynamics during programmed cell death in the Drosophila ovary, Development 138: 327-338.
- Pritchett TL, Tanner EA, and McCall K. (2009). Cracking open cell death in the Drosophila ovary, Apoptosis 14, 969-79.
- Bass, BP, Tanner, EA, Mateos San Martín, D, Blute, T, Kinser, RD, Dolph, PJ and McCall, K. (2009). Cell-autonomous requirement for DNaseII in non-apoptotic cell death, Cell Death and Differentiation,16:1362-71.
- Hou YC, Chittaranjan S, Gonzalez Barbosa S, McCall K, Gorski S. (2008). Effector caspase Dcp-1 and IAP protein Bruce regulate starvation-induced autophagy during Drosophila oogenesis, Journal of Cell Biology 182, 1127-1139.
- Laundrie B, Peterson JS, Baum JS, Chang J, Fileppo D, Thompson SR, McCall K. (2003). Germline cell death is inhibited by P-element insertions disrupting the dcp-1/pita nested gene pair in Drosophila. Genetics 165, 1881-1888.