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

Croce, Jenifer C., and David R. McClay. “Dynamics of Delta/Notch signaling on endomesoderm segregation in the sea urchin embryo.Development (Cambridge, England) 137, no. 1 (January 2010): 83–91. https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.044149. Full Text Open Access Copy

Byrum, C. A., J. M. Bince, R. H. Xu, M. H. Illies, D. R. McClay, C. Ettensohn, and A. H. Wikramanayake. “Roles of Dsh in the regulation of sea urchin gastrulation.Dev Dyn 238 (December 2009): 1649–65.

Rho, Ho Kyung, and David R. McClay. “The role and regulation of FoxN2/3 in the skeletogenic cells during sea urchin development.” Developmental Biology 331, no. 2 (July 2009): 432–33. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2009.05.167. Full Text

McIntyre, Daniel C., and David R. McClay. “Sea urchin embryonic skeletogenesis is regulated by microRNA.” Developmental Biology 331, no. 2 (July 2009): 433–433. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2009.05.168. Full Text

Walton, Katherine D., Jacob Warner, Philip H. Hertzler, and David R. McClay. “Hedgehog signaling patterns mesoderm in the sea urchin.Developmental Biology 331, no. 1 (July 2009): 26–37. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2009.04.018. Full Text

Byrum, Christine A., Ronghui Xu, Joanna M. Bince, David R. McClay, and Athula H. Wikramanayake. “Blocking Dishevelled signaling in the noncanonical Wnt pathway in sea urchins disrupts endoderm formation and spiculogenesis, but not secondary mesoderm formation.Developmental Dynamics : An Official Publication of the American Association of Anatomists 238, no. 7 (July 2009): 1649–65. https://doi.org/10.1002/dvdy.21978. Full Text

Bradham, Cynthia A., Catherine Oikonomou, Alexander Kühn, Amanda B. Core, Joshua W. Modell, David R. McClay, and Albert J. Poustka. “Chordin is required for neural but not axial development in sea urchin embryos.Developmental Biology 328, no. 2 (April 2009): 221–33. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2009.01.027. Full Text

Range, R., T. Glenn, and D. R. McClay. “Lv-Numb promotes Notch-mediated specification of secondary mesenchyme cells in the sea urchin embryo.” Development 135 (December 2008): 2445–54.

Range, Ryan C., Thomas D. Glenn, Esther Miranda, and David R. McClay. “LvNumb works synergistically with Notch signaling to specify non-skeletal mesoderm cells in the sea urchin embryo.Development (Cambridge, England) 135, no. 14 (August 2008): 2445–54. https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.018101. Full Text

Wu, Shu-Yu, Yu-Ping Yang, and David R. McClay. “Twist is an essential regulator of the skeletogenic gene regulatory network in the sea urchin embryo.Developmental Biology 319, no. 2 (July 2008): 406–15. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2008.04.003. Full Text

Pages

Selected Grants

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

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

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

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

Extracellular Matrix Proteins and Differentiation awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1988 to 1993

Extracellular Matrix Proteins and Differentiation awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1988 to 1993

Embryonic Cell Recognition: Specificity Determinants awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1987 to 1991

Embryonic Cell Recognition: Specificity Determinants awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1980 to 1991

Embryonic Cell Recognition: Specificity Determinants awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1980 to 1991

Ontogeny of the Basal Lamina of the Sea Urchin awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1988 to 1991

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