Scientists & Research


A Focus on Basic Research


The Stowers Institute for Medical Research focuses on basic biomedical research in genetic model organisms as a way to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying human health and disease. Although Stowers researchers do not concentrate directly on developing new drugs or treating patients, discoveries resulting from research concentrating on the fundamental processes of life frequently prove to be major milestones along the path toward novel therapies and cures.

Building on its founding principle of collegiality and collaboration, the Stowers Institute brings together experienced senior scientists and promising young investigators from around the world and empowers them to take on ambitious interdisciplinary research projects. These outstanding minds, along with the institute’s commitment to providing generous research support and access to cutting-edge technology, have created an intellectual environment in which questions of vital importance to many areas of biology and medicine can be answered.

On the surface, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, cardiac disease and birth defects have little in common, yet they are all caused by abnormalities in basic cellular and molecular processes, such as chromosome segregation or gene expression. Stowers investigators seek to discover how specific genes are controlled and expressed — how they are turned on and off — by factors both external and internal to the organism. They analyze how genes and proteins control virtually all biological processes, from cell division to cell differentiation; from processing smells to storing fat; from generating memories to regenerating missing body parts.

The Stowers Institute's wide-ranging approach to research allows scientists to probe the molecular mechanisms at the root of medical problems caused by malfunctioning genes, to reveal how environmental factors cause disease by impacting gene expression and to discover which genes are involved in particular diseases. Ultimately, the resulting insights into the highly dynamic processes that control all cellular and physiological functions will translate into innovative approaches and strategies to prevent illness and disease.

Currently, the research interests of Stowers scientists fall within six loosely defined areas with the work of many investigators spanning several research areas.

 

Chromatin and Regulation of Gene Expression

Joan Conaway, Ph.D.
Ron Conaway, Ph.D.
Jennifer Gerton Ph.D.
Ali Shilatifard, Ph.D.
Michael Washburn, Ph.D.
Jerry Workman, Ph.D.
Julia Zeitlinger, Ph.D.

Chromosome Structure and Cell Division

Peter Baumann, Ph.D.
Jennifer Gerton Ph.D.
Scott Hawley, Ph.D.
Sue Jaspersen, Ph.D.
Jerry Workman, Ph.D.

Computational Biology, Modeling and Technology

Paul Kulesa, Ph.D.
Rong Li, Ph.D.
Michael Washburn, Ph.D.
Developmental Genetics and Cell Biology

Susan Abmayr, Ph.D.
Matt Gibson, Ph.D.
Robb Krumlauf, Ph.D.
Linheng Li, Ph.D.
Rong Li, Ph.D.
Tatjana Piotrowski, Ph.D.
Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado, Ph.D.
Ali Shilatifard, Ph.D.
Paul Trainor, Ph.D.
Ting Xie, Ph.D.
Julia Zeitlinger, Ph.D.

Developmental Neuroscience

Robb Krumlauf, Ph.D.
Tatjana Piotrowski, Ph.D.
Kausik Si, Ph.D.
Paul Trainor, Ph.D.
Ron Yu, Ph.D.

Stem Cells and Regeneration

Linheng Li, Ph.D.
Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado, Ph.D.
Ali Shilatifard, Ph.D.
Paul Trainor, Ph.D.
Ting Xie, Ph.D.