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Biology at Boston University is a highly integrative department, with faculty teaching and conducting research in the broad range of fields that comprise the contemporary life sciences. The department spans the full spectrum of biological sciences, ranging from cell and molecular biology to ecology and conservation biology, giving us unusual strength in integrative research that addresses questions across multiple levels of biological complexity.


Department chair: Kim McCall
Campus address: 5 Cummington Street, Room 101
Phone: 617-353-2432
Fax: 617-353-6340

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  • RNA-Seq identifies SPGs as a ventral skeletal patterning cue in sea urchins 

    Piacentino, Michael L.; Zuch, Daniel T.; Fishman, Julie; Rose, Sviatlana; Speranza, Emily E.; Li, Christy; Yu, Jia; Chung, Oliver; Ramachandran, Janani; Ferrell, Patrick; Patel, Vijeta; Reyna, Arlene; Hameeduddin, Hajerah; Chaves, James; Hewitt, Finnegan B.; Bardot, Evan; Lee, David; Core, Amanda B.; Hogan, John D.; Keenan, Jessica L; Luo, Lingqi; Coulombe-Huntington, Jasmin; Blute, Todd A; Oleinik, Ekaterina; Ibn-Salem, Jonas; Poustka, Albert J.; Bradham, Cynthia A. (2016-02-15)
    The sea urchin larval skeleton offers a simple model for formation of developmental patterns. The calcium carbonate skeleton is secreted by primary mesenchyme cells (PMCs) in response to largely unknown patterning cues ...
  • Olfactory receptor accessory proteins play crucial roles in receptor function and gene choice 

    Sharma, Ruchira; Ishimaru, Yoshiro; Davison, Ian; Ikegami, Kentaro; Chien, Ming-Shan; You, Helena; Chi, Quiyi; Kubota, Momoka; Yohda, Masafumi; Ehlers, Michael; Matsunami, Hiroaki
    Each of the olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) chooses to express a single G protein-coupled olfactory receptor (OR) from a pool of hundreds. Here, we show the receptor transporting protein (RTP) family members play a dual ...
  • Neural mechanisms of social learning in the female mouse 

    Gao, Yuan; Budlong, Carl; Durlacher, Emily; Davison, Ian G.
    Social interactions are often powerful drivers of learning. In female mice, mating creates a long-lasting sensory memory for the pheromones of the stud male that alters neuroendocrine responses to his chemosignals for many ...
  • Survey of variation in human transcription factors reveals prevalent DNA binding changes 

    Barrera, Luis A.; Vedenko, Anastasia; Kurland, Jesse V.; Rogers, Julia M.; Gisselbrecht, Stephen S.; Rossin, Elizabeth J.; Woodard, Jaie; Mariani, Luca; Kock, Kian Hong; Inukai, Sachi; Siggers, Trevor; Shokri, Leila; Gordan, Raluxa; Sahni, Nidhi; Cotsapas, Chris; Hao, Tong; Yi, Song; Kellis, Manolis; Daly, Mark J.; Vidal, Marc; Hill, David E.; Bulyk, Martha L. (2016-03-25)
    Sequencing of exomes and genomes has revealed abundant genetic variation affecting the coding sequences of human transcription factors (TFs), but the consequences of such variation remain largely unexplored. We developed ...
  • Sea anemone model has a single Toll-like receptor that can function in pathogen detection, NF-κB signal transduction, and development 

    Brennan, Joseph J.; Messerschmidt, Jonathan L.; Williams, Leah M.; Matthews, Bryan J.; Reynoso, Marinaliz; Gilmore, Thomas D.
    In organisms from insects to vertebrates, Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are primary pathogen detectors that activate downstream pathways, specifically those that direct expression of innate immune effector genes. TLRs also ...
  • Depolarization-activated potentiation of the T fiber synapse in the blue crab 

    Lin, J.-W.; Llinas, R. (1993-01)
    The blue crab T fiber synapse, associated with the stretch receptor of the swimming leg, has a nonspiking presynaptic element that mediates tonic transmission. This synapse was isolated and a voltage clamp circuit was used ...
  • Songbird organotypic culture as an in vitro model for interrogating sparse sequencing networks 

    Shen, Jun; Blute, Todd; Liberti, William A., III; Yen, William; Liberti, Derek C.; Kotten, Darrell N.; Cruz-Martin, Alberto; Gardner, Timothy (2017-07-17)
    Sparse sequences of neuronal activity are fundamental features of neural circuit computation; however, the underlying homeostatic mechanisms remain poorly understood. To approach these questions, we have developed a method ...
  • Auxin and tryptophan homeostasis are facilitated by the ISS1/VAS1 aromatic aminotransferase in arabidopsis 

    Pieck, Michael; Yuan, Youxi; Godfrey, Jason; Fisher, Christopher; Zolj, Sanda; Vaughan, Dylan; Thomas, Nicholas; Wu, Connie; Ramos, Julian; Lee, Norman; Normanly, Jennifer; Celenza, John L. (2015-09)
    Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) plays a critical role in regulating numerous aspects of plant growth and development. While there is much genetic support for tryptophan-dependent (Trp-D) IAA synthesis pathways, there is little ...
  • Two alleles of NF-kappaB in the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis are widely dispersed in nature and encode proteins with distinct activities 

    Sullivan, James C.; Wolenski, Francis S.; Reitzel, Adam M.; French, Courtney E.; Traylor-Knowles, Nikki; Gilmore, Thomas D.; Finnerty, John R. (2009-10-06)
    BACKGROUND: NF-kappaB is an evolutionarily conserved transcription factor that controls the expression of genes involved in many key organismal processes, including innate immunity, development, and stress responses. ...
  • Overexpression of an activated REL mutant enhances the transformed state of the human B-lymphoma BJAB cell line and alters its gene expression profile 

    Chin, M.; Herscovitch, M.; Zhang, N.; Waxman, D.J.; Gilmore, T.D. (2009-05-21)
    The human REL proto-oncogene encodes a transcription factor in the nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB family. Overexpression of REL is acutely transforming in chicken lymphoid cells, but has not been shown to transform any mammalian ...

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