Bruce Reed carries out research in developmental and cell biology and is an expert on the model genetic organism Drosophila.
Office: B1 293A
Phone: 519-888-4567, ext. 38085
Lab: B1 287, ext. 38413
- Cell and Developmental Biology
- Live-Imaging Microscopy
- Programmed Cell Death
- Stem Cell Biology & Cellular Differentiation
Drosophila Genetics / Cell Biology / Developmental Biology
I) Programmed Cell Death
Our lab uses the model genetic organism, Drosophila, to study fundamental questions relating to cell and developmental biology. In particular, we are interested in the regulation of programmed cell death (PCD). The extra-embryonic tissue known as the amnioserosa, which dies following the completion of dorsal closure, is an excellent system for studying PCD and is also ideal for live-imaging. Using the amnioserosa as a model system we study the following processes: 1) caspase activation; 2) autophagy; 3) contact dependent inhibition of PCD; 4) EGFR/Ras/MAPK dependent survival signaling. We are presently interested in how caspase activation and autophagy undergo cross-activation during the programmed death of the amnioserosa.
During the process of dorsal closure the amnioserosa is internalized and undergoes programmed cell death.
II) The function of hindsight (homolog of RREB1)
Our lab also studies the regulation and function of the gene hindsight (hnt). hnt encodes the Drosophila homolog of the human Ras Responsive Element Binding Protein-1 (RREB1), a zinc finger protein and putative transcription factor. hnt loss-of-function mutants undergo premature amnioserosa death, and consequently fail in the morphogenetic processes of germ band retraction and dorsal closure. hnt is expressed in numerous tissues throughout development, including the amnioserosa, neurons of the developing peripheral nervous system, the embryonic and larval tracheal system, the larval and adult midgut, the pupal sensory organ precursors, and the ovarian follicular epithelium. In some cellular contexts the hnt gene is a target of the Notch signalling pathway, but can also modulate the cellular response to EGFR signalling. Our most recent projects concern the role of hnt in the specification of the adult intestinal stem cells from the undifferentiated pool of adult midgut precursor cells as well as the role of hnt in promoting intestinal stem cell-to-enterocyte differentiation.
Drosophila embryo at the germ band extended stage showing HNT expression (purple) in the extra-embryonic tissue known as the amnioserosa. Brown stripes represent expression of the pair-rule gene ftz.
PhD: Michael Ashburner (Cambridge, UK)
PDF (Life Sciences): Terry Orr-Weaver (Whitehead Institute and M.I.T.)
Research Associate: Howard Lipshitz (University of Toronto and Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto)
Professor Reed teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses. Course offerings have included
- BIOL 303 Introductory Developmental Biology and Embryology
- BIOL 331 Advanced Cell Biology
- BIOL 484 Advanced Eukaryotic Genetics
- BIOL 680 Special Studies
Recent publications include
- Baechler BL, McKnight C, Pruchnicki PC, Biro NA, Reed BH. (2016). Hindsight/RREB-1 functions in both the specification and differentiation of stem cells in the adult midgut of Drosophila. Biology Open 5 :1-10. http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/bio.015636.
- Ming L, Wilk R, Reed BH, Lipshitz HD. (2013). Drosophila Hindsight and mammalian RREB-1 are evolutionarily conserved DNA-binding transcriptional attenuators. Differentiation 86:159-170. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.diff.2013.12.001.
- Shen, W., Chen, X., Cormier, O., Cheng, D. C.-P., Reed, B., and Harden, N. (2013). Modulation of Morphogenesis by Egfr during Dorsal Closure in Drosophila. PLoS ONE 8, e60180
- Cormier O., Mohseni, N., Voytyuk, I., Reed, B.H. (2012). Autophagy can promote but is not required for epithelial cell extrusion in the amnioserosa of the Drosophila embryo. Autophagy 8: 2, 252-264. http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/auto.8.2.18618
Please see Bruce Reed's Google Scholar profile for a current list of his peer-reviewed articles.
Awards and Distinctions
- Foundation for Advanced Cancer Studies Life Sciences Research Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship (1994-1996)
- Commonwealth Scholarship (1988-1992)
- University of Guelph Beckman Prize in Molecular Biology & Genetics (1988)
University of Waterloo Affiliations
- Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology
1992 PhD Genetics, University of Cambridge (UK)
1988 BSc Molecular Biology & Genetics, University of Guelph