David R. Sherwood

Jerry G. and Patricia Crawford Hubbard Professor

Box 90338, Department of Biology, Durham, NC 27708
Campus Box: 
Duke Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-1000
(919) 613-8192
The Sherwood lab is interested in understanding mechanisms that drive dynamic cellular behaviors underlying normal development and human disease. We study 1) How cells invade into tissues, 2) How stem cells interact with their niches, and 3) How cells control and interact with extracellular matrix. Our lab primarily examines C. elegans development, in which simple cellular complexity, amenability to genetics/genomics/transgenics/molecular perturbations, and evolutionary comparisons facilitates powerful insights. One particular emphasis of our work is live-cell imaging, where we watch cellular behaviors and cell-extracellular matrix interactions unfold in real-time to understand their regulation and function.  Cell invasion, stem cell regulation, and cell-matrix interactions are fundamental to development, regeneration, cancer, and aging.  Our work aims to advance our understanding of these fascinating processes and positively influence human health.


  • Ph.D., Duke University 1997

  • B.A., Wesleyan University 1990

Garde, Aastha, and David R. Sherwood. “Fueling Cell Invasion through Extracellular Matrix.Trends in Cell Biology, February 3, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tcb.2021.01.006. Full Text

Gordon, Kacy L., Jay W. Zussman, Xin Li, Camille Miller, and David R. Sherwood. “Stem cell niche exit in C. elegans via orientation and segregation of daughter cells by a cryptic cell outside the niche.Elife 9 (July 21, 2020). https://doi.org/10.7554/elife.56383. Full Text

Keeley, Daniel P., Eric Hastie, Ranjay Jayadev, Laura C. Kelley, Qiuyi Chi, Sara G. Payne, Jonathan L. Jeger, Brenton D. Hoffman, and David R. Sherwood. “Comprehensive Endogenous Tagging of Basement Membrane Components Reveals Dynamic Movement within the Matrix Scaffolding.Developmental Cell 54, no. 1 (July 2020): 60-74.e7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.devcel.2020.05.022. Full Text

Chen, David, Eric Hastie, and David Sherwood. “Endogenous expression of UNC-59/Septin in C. elegans.Micropublication Biology 2019 (December 20, 2019). https://doi.org/10.17912/micropub.biology.000200. Full Text

Hartman, Jessica H., Christopher T. Richie, Kacy L. Gordon, Danielle F. Mello, Priscila Castillo, April Zhu, Yun Wang, et al. “MANF deletion abrogates early larval Caenorhabditis elegans stress response to tunicamycin and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.European Journal of Cell Biology 98, no. 5–8 (December 2019): 151043. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejcb.2019.05.002. Full Text

Jayadev, Ranjay, Qiuyi Chi, Daniel P. Keeley, Eric L. Hastie, Laura C. Kelley, and David R. Sherwood. “α-Integrins dictate distinct modes of type IV collagen recruitment to basement membranes.The Journal of Cell Biology 218, no. 9 (September 2019): 3098–3116. https://doi.org/10.1083/jcb.201903124. Full Text

Sherwood, David R. “Breaching the Basement Membrane David R. Sherwood.” Developmental Cell 49, no. 4 (May 20, 2019): 498–498.

Gordon, Kacy L., Sara G. Payne, Lara M. Linden-High, Ariel M. Pani, Bob Goldstein, E Jane Albert Hubbard, and David R. Sherwood. “Ectopic Germ Cells Can Induce Niche-like Enwrapment by Neighboring Body Wall Muscle.Current Biology : Cb 29, no. 5 (March 2019): 823-833.e5. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.056. Full Text

Kelley, Laura C., Qiuyi Chi, Rodrigo Cáceres, Eric Hastie, Adam J. Schindler, Yue Jiang, David Q. Matus, Julie Plastino, and David R. Sherwood. “Adaptive F-Actin Polymerization and Localized ATP Production Drive Basement Membrane Invasion in the Absence of MMPs.Developmental Cell 48, no. 3 (February 2019): 313-328.e8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.devcel.2018.12.018. Full Text

Keeley, Daniel P., and David R. Sherwood. “Tissue linkage through adjoining basement membranes: The long and the short term of it.Matrix Biology : Journal of the International Society for Matrix Biology 75–76 (January 2019): 58–71. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.matbio.2018.05.009. Full Text


Hartman, Jessica, Latasha Smith, Kacy Gordon, David Sherwood, Ricardo Laranjeiro, Monica Driscoll, and Joel Meyer. “Chemical-induced toxicity is ameliorated by swimming exercise in caenorhabditis elegans.” In Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, 34:S30–S30. Elsevier BV, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dmpk.2018.09.117. Full Text

Garde, A., Y. Li, and D. R. Sherwood. “The role of lipid metabolism in anchor cell invasion in C.elegans.” In Molecular Biology of the Cell, 29:238–39. AMER SOC CELL BIOLOGY, 2018.


Caceres, R., N. Bojanala, L. C. Kelley, J. Dreier, J. Manzi, F. Di Federico, Q. Chi, et al. “WASP and WAVE activate the Arp2/3 complex for actin-based force production during basement membrane invasion.” In Molecular Biology of the Cell, Vol. 28. AMER SOC CELL BIOLOGY, 2017.

Keeley, D. P., and D. R. Sherwood. “Type IV Collagen stabilizes the connection of juxtaposed tissues at the B-LINK complex.” In Molecular Biology of the Cell, Vol. 27. AMER SOC CELL BIOLOGY, 2016.

Naegeli, K. M., Q. Chi, and D. R. Sherwood. “Rapid exocytosis of an endolysosome-derived membrane domain forms a polarized invasive protrusion that clears basement membrane during cell invasion.” In Molecular Biology of the Cell, Vol. 26. AMER SOC CELL BIOLOGY, 2015.

Jayadev, R., and D. R. Sherwood. “Visualizing and elucidating the regulation of type IV collagen assembly in developing basement membranes.” In Molecular Biology of the Cell, Vol. 26. AMER SOC CELL BIOLOGY, 2015.

Clay, M. R., LR Lilley Lohmer, J. W. Ziel, Q. Chi, and D. R. Sherwood. “Cell invasion through basement membrane requires multiple GTPases and is initiated by CDC-42 directed invadopodia formation.” In Molecular Biology of the Cell, Vol. 25. AMER SOC CELL BIOLOGY, 2014.

Matus, D. Q., L. L. Lohmer, L. C. Kelley, and D. R. Sherwood. “Cell cycle arrest is required for cell invasive behavior.” In Molecular Biology of the Cell, Vol. 25. AMER SOC CELL BIOLOGY, 2014.

Keeley, D. P., M. Morrissey, and D. R. Sherwood. “Investigating the B-LINK: an adhesion system that links neighboring basement membranes.” In Molecular Biology of the Cell, Vol. 25. AMER SOC CELL BIOLOGY, 2014.


Selected Grants

Genetic and Genomics Training Grant awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 2020 to 2025

Pharmacological Sciences Training Grant awarded by National Institutes of Health (Preceptor). 2020 to 2025

A comprehensive toolkit to visualize endogenously tagged fluorescent basement membrane components in a living animal awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2020 to 2022

Understanding the role of the collagen receptor DDR-2 in germ stem cell niche formation awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2019 to 2022

Understanding how cells invade through basement membrane in vivo awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2016 to 2021

Connecting human disease to basement membrane biology awarded by University of Manchester (Principal Investigator). 2019 to 2020

Transmission electron microscope (TEM) awarded by National Institutes of Health (Minor User). 2019 to 2020

Genetics Training Grant awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 1979 to 2020

Organization and Function of Cellular Structure awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 1975 to 2020

Defining a Newly Identified Membrane Structure That Directs Cell Invasion awarded by American Cancer Society, Inc. (Principal Investigator). 2016 to 2019