Derek StempleDepartment of Vertebrate Development and Genetics, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, UK F1000 Faculty Member (since 12 January 2007)
Derek is a Senior Investigator and Acting Head of Mouse and Zebrafish Genetics at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
EDUCATION AND BACKGROUND:
Derek obtained his first degrees from the University of Colorado, Boulder in Applied Mathematics (BS) and Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (BA).
As a postgraduate Derek worked for several years studying microtubule dynamics and mitosis with Professor J Richard McIntosh (Saxton et al. 1984; Stemple et al. 1988). He began his PhD studies in Neurobiology at the California Institute of Technology under the supervision of Professor David Anderson, which concluded with his discovery of the mammalian neural crest stem cell (Stemple and Anderson, 1992). As a Helen Hay Whitney postdoctoral fellow working with Professor Wolfgang Driever at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Derek participated in a large-scale systematic screen for mutations affecting embryogenesis in Zebrafish (Driever et al. 1996; Stemple et al. 1996). As an independent investigator at the National Institute for Medical Research, London Derek's group identified several genes important for development of the notochord (Coutinho et al. 2004; Heisenberg et al. 2000; Parsons et al. 2002; Parsons et al. 2002; Pei et al. 2007; Pollard et al. 2006; Saude et al. 2000; Stemple 2005).
The main focus of the work in our group is to understand the mechanistic basis of human genetic diseases by modelling them in other vertebrate organisms, specifically zebrafish and Xenopus tropicalis. The laboratory has strong roots in developmental biology and continues to work on the early stages of vertebrate development. Work in the group that addresses the mechanisms of human disease is focused on diseases of skeletal muscle; dystrophies and myopathies. This has led us to undertake a systematic cell biological and genetic study of sarcomere assembly.
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