Paul MinorI grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and completed my undergraduate degree at Auburn University. I obtained my Ph.D. in Paul Sternberg’s lab at Caltech studying the genetics and molecular mechanisms of asymmetric cell divisions in C. elegans. As a graduate student I became more and more interested in evolution and wanted to apply the understanding and techniques I had gained from genetics and developmental biology to better answer questions of evolution. The Lowe Lab was a perfect fit.

In Chris’s lab I am currently working on the function of retinoic acid in the development of the hemichordate, Saccoglossus kowalevskii. Previous work has shown multiple roles for retinoic acid in chordate development, but the evolution of this signaling pathway in deuterostomes is unclear due to the lack of functional data outside of chordates. I am interested in better understanding the role of retinoic acid in early AP axis specification in the ectoderm and endoderm as well as later roles in development, including anterior patterning of the ectoderm and mesoderm and poster growth of the trunk. Building off of this work, my long-term goal is to better understand the transcriptional regulatory networks that control patterning of the body plan in hemichordates and make functional comparisons with chordates to gain insight into the evolution of patterning regulatory networks.


Minor, P. J., et al. (2013). “FGF signaling regulates Wnt ligand expression to control vulval cell lineage polarity in C. elegans.” Development 140(18): 3882-3891.

Dillman, A. R., Minor, P.J., and Sternberg P.W. (2013). “Origin and evolution of dishevelled.” G3 (Bethesda) 3(2): 251-262.