David R. McClay

Arthur S. Pearse Distinguished Professor of Biology

Office: 
4102 French Science Center, Science Dr., Durham, NC 27708
Campus Box: 
Box 90338, Department of Biology, Durham, NC 27708-1000
Phone: 
(919) 613-8188
We ask how the embryo works. Prior to morphogenesis the embryo specifies each cell through transcriptional regulation and signaling. Our research builds gene regulatory networks to understand how that early specification works. We then ask how this specification programs cells for their morphogenetic movements at gastrulation, and how the cells deploy patterning information. Current projects examine 1) novel signal transduction mechanisms that establish and maintain embryonic boundaries mold the embryo at gastrulation; 2) specification of primary mesenchyme cells in such a way that they are prepared to execute an epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and then study mechanistically the regulation of that transition; 3) the specification of endoderm necessary for invagination of the archenteron; 4) formation of the oral/aboral ectoderm and the means by which patterning information is distributed three dimensionally around the embryo. That information is necessary for patterning and inducing skeletogenesis. Other projects examine neural tube folding with the goal of identifying genes associated with neural tube defects. Finally, a large current effort in systems biology is being expended with the goal of enlarging our knowledge of early networks and how they interact.

Education

  • Ph.D., University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill 1971

  • M.S., University of Vermont 1965

  • B.S., Pennsylvania State University 1963

Warner, Jacob F., and David R. McClay. “Perturbations to the hedgehog pathway in sea urchin embryos.Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.) 1128 (January 2014): 211–21. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-62703-974-1_14. Full Text

Warner, Jacob F., Ali M. McCarthy, Robert L. Morris, and David R. McClay. “Hedgehog signaling requires motile cilia in the sea urchin.Molecular Biology and Evolution 31, no. 1 (January 2014): 18–22. https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/mst176. Full Text

McIntyre, Daniel C., N Winn Seay, Jenifer C. Croce, and David R. McClay. “Short-range Wnt5 signaling initiates specification of sea urchin posterior ectoderm.Development (Cambridge, England) 140, no. 24 (December 2013): 4881–89. https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.095844. Full Text

Lyons, Deirdre C., Stacy L. Kaltenbach, and David R. McClay. “Morphogenesis in sea urchin embryos: linking cellular events to gene regulatory network states.Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology 1, no. 2 (March 2012): 231–52. https://doi.org/10.1002/wdev.18. Full Text

Lhomond, Guy, David R. McClay, Christian Gache, and Jenifer C. Croce. “Frizzled1/2/7 signaling directs β-catenin nuclearisation and initiates endoderm specification in macromeres during sea urchin embryogenesis.Development (Cambridge, England) 139, no. 4 (February 2012): 816–25. https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.072215. Full Text

Warner, Jacob F., Deirdre C. Lyons, and David R. McClay. “Left-right asymmetry in the sea urchin embryo: BMP and the asymmetrical origins of the adult.Plos Biology 10, no. 10 (January 2012): e1001404. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1001404. Full Text

Croce, Jenifer, Ryan Range, Shu-Yu Wu, Esther Miranda, Guy Lhomond, Jeff Chieh-fu Peng, Thierry Lepage, and David R. McClay. “Wnt6 activates endoderm in the sea urchin gene regulatory network.Development (Cambridge, England) 138, no. 15 (August 2011): 3297–3306. https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.058792. Full Text

McClay, David R. “Evolutionary crossroads in developmental biology: sea urchins.Development (Cambridge, England) 138, no. 13 (July 2011): 2639–48. https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.048967. Full Text

Rho, Ho Kyung, and David R. McClay. “The control of foxN2/3 expression in sea urchin embryos and its function in the skeletogenic gene regulatory network.Development (Cambridge, England) 138, no. 5 (March 2011): 937–45. https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.058396. Full Text

McClay, D. R. “Cleavage and Gastrulation in the Sea Urchin.Encyclopedia of Life Sciences., 2011.

Pages

Selected Grants

Organization And Function Of Cellular Structure Cmb awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1975 to 1999

Cancer Center Core Support Grant awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co-Principal Investigator). 1976 to 1998

Comprehensive Cancer Center Core Support Grant awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co-Principal Investigator). 1976 to 1998

Comprehensive Cancer Center Core Support Grant awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co-Principal Investigator). 1976 to 1998

Confocal Microscope for the SRC awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 1994 to 1996

Embryonic Cell Recognition: Specificity Determinants awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1980 to 1996

Embryonic Cell Recognition: Specificity Determinants awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1980 to 1996

Embryonic Cell Recognition: Specificity Determinants awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1980 to 1996

Embryonic Cell Recognition: Specificity Determinants awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1980 to 1996

Teratocarcinoma Cells - Cell Adhesion and Differentiation awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1990 to 1995

Pages