Laura Gammill, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development


Research Interests:

Neural crest cells arise in the developing vertebrate central nervous system, but become disconnected from their neighbors and migrate over long distances to form surprisingly diverse derivatives, including the peripheral nervous system, pigment cells, the outflow tract of the heart, and the craniofacial skeleton. The goal of the Gammill laboratory is to define the molecular mechanisms that regulate the formation and migration of neural crest cells. Through genetic manipulation of chick and mouse embryos, we have characterized a number of factors that are essential for early neural crest development, including an antiphosphatase, a tetraspanin, and a protein methyltransferase. Collectively, these factors indicate that post-translational regulation of protein activity is crucial in the neural crest. We are currently studying putative targets of these post-translational regulators in order to better understand the mechanisms by which neural crest cells become migratory and coordinate their motility.

Selected Publications:

(For a comprehensive list of recent publications, refer to PubMed, a service provided by the National Library of Medicine.)

Jacques-Fricke BT, Gammill LS. Neural crest specification and migration independently require NSD3-related lysine methyltransferase activity. Mol Biol Cell. 2014 Oct 15;.

Fairchild CL, Conway JP, Schiffmacher AT, Taneyhill LA, Gammill LS. FoxD3 regulates cranial neural crest EMT via downregulation of tetraspanin18 independent of its functions during neural crest formation. Mech Dev. 2014 May;132:1-12.

Vermillion, K.A., Lidberg, K.A. and Gammill, L.S. (2014) Expression of actin binding proteins and requirement for actin depolymerizing factor in chick neural crest cells. Dev. Dyn. 243(5):730-8. PMCID: PMC4048876

Vermillion KL, Lidberg KA, Gammill LS. Cytoplasmic protein methylation is essential for neural crest migration. J Cell Biol. 2014 Jan 6;204(1):95-109.

Fairchild CL, Gammill LS. Tetraspanin18 is a FoxD3-responsive antagonist of cranial neural crest epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition that maintains cadherin-6B protein. J Cell Sci. 2013 Mar 15;126(Pt 6):1464-76.

Jacques-Fricke BT, Roffers-Agarwal J, Gammill LS. DNA methyltransferase 3b is dispensable for mouse neural crest development. PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e47794.

Roffers-Agarwal J, Hutt KJ, Gammill LS. Paladin is an antiphosphatase that regulates neural crest cell formation and migration. Dev Biol. 2012 Nov 15;371(2):180-90.

Gammill LS, Krull CE. Embryological and genetic manipulation of chick development. Methods Mol Biol. 2011;770:119-37.

Gammill LS, Roffers-Agarwal Division of labor during trunk neural crest development. J. Dev Biol. 2010 Aug 15;344(2):555-65.

Kulesa, P.M. and Gammill, L.S. (2010). Neural Crest Migration: Patterns, Phases and Signals. Developmental Biology 344:566-568. 

Roffers-Agarwal, J. and Gammill, L.S. Neuropilin receptors guide distinct phases of sensory and motor neuronal segmentation. Development 2009 Jun;136(11):1879-88.

Gammill LS, Lee VM. Gene discovery: macroarrays and microarrays. Methods Cell Biol. 2008;87:297-312.

Adams, M.S., Gammill, L.S.*, and Bronner-Fraser, M. (2008) Discovery of transcription factors and other candidate regulators of neural crest development. Dev. Dyn. 237:1021-1033 (* = corresponding author).

Laura Gammill