Chris has been working in deuterostome evolution since his graduate working with Greg Wray on echinoderms. He started working on hemichordates with Mike Levine at UC Berkeley and then continued at Berkeley with John Gerhart and Marc Kirschner. He starting his lab at University of Chicago in 2005 and moved to Stanford in 2010.
Paul is a postdoc in the lab working on the evolution of gene regulation. He is interested in examining how divergent body plans are regulated by conserved regulatory networks and has discovered that this regulatory conservation extends in some cases down to cis-regulatory modules that are involved in regulating very different structures in vertebrates and hemichordates.
José is a PhD. student in the lab and is interested in the evolution of nervous systems. He has been investigating the structure of the enteropneust nervous system by defining the diversity of neural cell types, their distribution and connectivity in the developing juveniles of Saccoglossus. He has developed a transgenic approach to look at axonal projections of neural subtypes defined by a range of neurotransmitters in order to clarify the controversy of whether enteropneusts are defined by a centralized nervous system, or rather by a neural plexus.
Paul is a PhD. student in the lab and is interested in investigating how genomic information drives cellular composition and eventually the diverse body plans represented in the complexity of metazoan animals. He works to understand this by studying the process of metamorphosis in the indirect-developing enteropneust hemichordate Schizocardium californicum, focussing on how the cellular composition of the larva changes during the process of metamorphosis into the adult body plan. Paul is generally interested in topics of cell type evolution, regeneration, and how small and squishy marine invertebrates can provide novel perspectives to advance fundamental cell biology research.