Dr. Eric Erkenbrack
I am interested in the evolution of novelty: specifically how molecular alterations lead to phenotypic novelties in evolutionary time. To this end, my current research has focused on the appearance of a novel cell type—the decidual stromal cell—in the reproductive cycle of mammals. My research aims to unravel the genetic architecture and molecular mechanisms driving the cell fate decision of endometrial stromal cells to decidual stromal cells that occurs in placental mammals. It seeks to discover the active players, their interactions, and the genomic and cytoplasmic mechanisms by which their regulatory activities are controlled. To realize these ends, we are combining tried-and-true and cutting-edge techniques, such as CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing, ChIP-seq, and single cell transcriptomics.
Web Page: http://embryos-and-evolution.com/