H. Frederik Nijhout

John Franklin Crowell Professor of Biology

Office: 
322 Bio Sci Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Campus Box: 
Duke Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0325
Phone: 
(919) 684-2793
Email: 
Fred Nijhout is broadly interested in developmental physiology and in the interactions between development and evolution. He has several lines of research ongoing in his laboratory that on the surface may look independent from one another, but all share a conceptual interest in understanding how complex traits arise through, and are affected by, the interaction of genetic and environmental factors. 1) The control of polyphenic development in insects. This work attempts to understand how the insect developmental hormones, ecdysone and juvenile hormone, act to control alternative developmental pathways within a single individual. His studies and those of his students have dealt with the control of sequential polyphenism in metamorphosis, of alternate polyphenisms in caste determination of social insects and the many seasonal forms of insects. 2) The regulation of organ and body size in insects. Ongoing research deals with the mechanism by which insects asses their body size and stop growing when they have achieved a characteristic size. Other studies deal with the control of growth and size of imaginal disks. This work is revealing that the control of body and organ size does not reside in any specific cellular or molecular mechanism but that it is a systems property in which cellular, physiological and environmental signals all contribute in inextricable ways to produce the final phenotype. 3) The development and evolution of color patterns in Lepidoptera. Ongoing research attempts to elucidate the evolution of mimicry using genetic and genomic approaches. 4) The development, genetics and evolution of complex traits. Complex traits are those whose variation is affected by many genes and environmental factors and whose inheritance does not follow Mendel’s laws. In practice this involves understanding how genetic and developmental networks operate when there is allelic variation in their genes. This work attempts to reconstruct complex traits through mathematical models of the genetic and developmental processes by which they originate, and uses these models to study the effects of mutation and selection. Currently metabolic networks (e.g. folate metabolism) are being used to develop a deeper understanding of the functional relationships between genetic variation and trait variation, and of the mechanisms by which genetic and environmental variables interact to produce phenotypes. More on web page: http://www.biology.duke.edu/nijhout/

Education

  • Ph.D., Harvard University 1974

  • M.A., Harvard University 1972

  • B.S., University of Notre Dame 1970

Nijhout, H Frederik. Insect Hormones. Princeton University Press, 1998.

Nijhout, H Frederik. The development and evolution of butterfly wing patterns. Smithsonian Inst Pr, 1991.

Nijhout, H. F. “Pattern and process.” In Pattern Formation in the Physical and Biological Sciences, 1–12, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1201/9780429493362. Full Text

Nijhout, H. F. “The common developmental origin of eyespots and parafocal elements and a new model mechanism for color pattern formation.” In Diversity and Evolution of Butterfly Wing Patterns: An Integrative Approach, 3–19, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-4956-9_1. Full Text

Reed, M. C., J. Best, and H. F. Nijhout. “Mathematical models of neuromodulation and implications for neurology and psychiatry.” In Computational Neurology and Psychiatry, edited by P. Erdi, B. Bhattacharya, and A. Cochran. New York: Springer, 2017.

Reed, M. C., H. F. Nijhout, and T. Kurtz. “Mathematical modeling of cell metabolism.” In Encyclopedia of Applied and Computational Mathematics, edited by B. Engquist. New York: Springer, 2016.

Reed, M. C., J. Best, H. F. Nijhout, and G. Oakley. “Mathematical models: Interactions between serotonion and dopamine in Parkinson's disease.” In Etiology and Pathophysiology of Parkinson’s Disease, edited by A. Q. Rana. InTech Pub., 2011.

Reed, M. C., H. F. Nijhout, and C. Ulrich. “Mathematical Models of One-Carbon Metabolism.” In Vitamins and Hormones, Volume 79, edited by G. Litvack, 42–85. Amsterdam NE: Elsevier, 2008.

Nijhout, H Frederik, Janet A. Best, and Michael C. Reed. “Systems biology of robustness and homeostatic mechanisms..” Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Systems Biology and Medicine 11, no. 3 (May 2019). https://doi.org/10.1002/wsbm.1440. Full Text

Burg, Karin R. L. van der, James J. Lewis, Arnaud Martin, H Frederik Nijhout, Charles G. Danko, and Robert D. Reed. “Contrasting Roles of Transcription Factors Spineless and EcR in the Highly Dynamic Chromatin Landscape of Butterfly Wing Metamorphosis..” Cell Reports 27, no. 4 (April 2019): 1027-1038.e3. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2019.03.092. Full Text

Gawne, R., and H. F. Nijhout. “Expanding the nymphalid groundplan's domain of applicability: Pattern homologies in an arctiid moth (Utetheisa ornatrix).” Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 126, no. 4 (March 27, 2019): 912–24. https://doi.org/10.1093/biolinnean/bly193. Full Text

West, Alyssa, Janet Best, Aya Abdalla, H Frederik Nijhout, Michael Reed, and Parastoo Hashemi. “Voltammetric evidence for discrete serotonin circuits, linked to specific reuptake domains, in the mouse medial prefrontal cortex..” Neurochemistry International 123 (February 2019): 50–58. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuint.2018.07.004. Full Text

Nijhout, H Frederik. “Larval Development: Making Ants into Soldiers..” Current Biology : Cb 29, no. 1 (January 2019): R32–34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.11.019. Full Text

Sadre-Marandi, Farrah, Thabat Dahdoul, Michael C. Reed, and H Frederik Nijhout. “Sex differences in hepatic one-carbon metabolism..” Bmc Systems Biology 12, no. 1 (October 24, 2018). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12918-018-0621-7. Full Text

Nijhout, H Frederik, and Kenneth Z. McKenna. “Wing morphogenesis in Lepidoptera..” Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology 137 (September 2018): 88–94. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2018.04.008. Full Text

Duncan, W., J. Best, M. Golubitsky, H. F. Nijhout, and M. Reed. “Homeostasis despite instability..” Mathematical Biosciences 300 (June 2018): 130–37. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mbs.2018.03.025. Full Text

Nijhout, H Frederik, Emily Laub, and Laura W. Grunert. “Hormonal control of growth in the wing imaginal disks of Junonia coenia: the relative contributions of insulin and ecdysone..” Development (Cambridge, England) 145, no. 6 (March 19, 2018). https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.160101. Full Text

Nijhout, H Frederik, and Kenneth Z. McKenna. “The distinct roles of insulin signaling in polyphenic development..” Current Opinion in Insect Science 25 (February 2018): 58–64. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cois.2017.11.011. Full Text

Pages

Mckenna, K. Z., and H. F. Nijhout. “The impact of protein malnutrition on growth and scaling in the rat Rattus norvegicus.” In Integrative and Comparative Biology, 58:E151–E151. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2018.

Nijhout, H Frederik, and Kenneth Z. McKenna. “The Origin of Novelty Through the Evolution of Scaling Relationships..” In Integrative and Comparative Biology, 57:1322–33, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/icx049. Full Text

Gawne, R., and H. F. Nijhout. “Phenotypic variation and aposematic signaling in an arctiid moth (Utetheisa ornatrix).” In Integrative and Comparative Biology, 57:E269–E269. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2017.

Mckenna, K. Z., and H. F. Nijhout. “Allometry and Reaction Norms: Wing-Body Scaling in Manduca sexta.” In Integrative and Comparative Biology, 57:E110–E110. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2017.

Thanacoody, HK Ruben, H Fred Nijhout, Mike C. Reed, and Simon Thomas. “Mathematical modeling of the effect of different intravenous acetylcysteine regimens on hepatic glutathione regeneration and hepatocyte death following simulated acetaminophen overdose.” In Clinical Toxicology, 55:753–753. TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2017.

Thanacoody, HK Ruben, H Fred Nijhout, Mike C. Reed, and Simon Thomas. “Mathematical modeling of the effect of late administration of a novel acetylcysteine regimen based on the SNAP trial on hepatic glutathione regeneration and hepatocyte death following simulated acetaminophen overdose.” In Clinical Toxicology, 55:753–54. TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2017.

Nijhout, H. F., and M. C. Reed. “Homeostasis and dynamic stability of the phenotype: Implications for understanding the nature and evolution of robustness and plasticity.” In Integrative and Comparative Biology, 54:E153–E153. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2014.

Nijhout, H. F. “Phenotypic Plasticity and Allometry: New Models and Evolutionary Implications.” In Integrative and Comparative Biology, 52:E129–E129. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2012.

Jalli, I. S., and H. F. Nijhout. “Physiological response to homocysteine stress in Escherichia coli.” In Integrative and Comparative Biology, 52:E269–E269. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2012.

Rios-Avila, Luisa, H Frederik Nijhout, Michael C. Reed, Harry S. Sitren, and Jesse F. Gregory. “Mathematical model gives insights into vitamin B6 and kynurenine metabolism.” In Faseb Journal, Vol. 26. FEDERATION AMER SOC EXP BIOL, 2012.

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