My research interests are focused on the molecular mechanisms that guide neuronal growth cones through the developing embryo to reach and select their appropriate synaptic targets.
A major focus of my lab is to understand epigenetic regulation and its role in human diseases. Specifically, we are investigating how histone methylation is dynamically regulated as well as mechanisms involved in the recognition of combinatorial modifications occurring on histone tails that are important for chromatin regulation.
We study how protein- and RNA-based mechanisms mediate the formation and propagation of epigenetic chromatin domains.
We study how cell-cell signaling molecules set up spatial pattern, particularly in the development and regeneration of connections in the nervous system.
We study biochemical and cellular mechanisms involved in signal transduction through the Hedgehog signaling pathway. We also develop and apply new chemical technologies to study the cell biology of lipids.
The Whitman lab is interested in how signals are transduced into highly specific biological responses during embryogenesis, during physiological responses of an organism to stress or damage, and during the development of various disease pathologies.
Our research focuses on the processes that mediate and regulate the movement of membrane proteins throughout cells.
Using molecular and genetic approaches, we are examining how various signals are integrated in undifferentiated cells in order to dictate cell fates and ultimately influence morphogenesis. Our main experimental system is Drosophila, but we are interested in exploiting this system as a tool to explore human biology and understand the underlying mechanisms of pathologies such as cancer.