- B.A., University of Virginia, 2002
- Ph.D., Duke University, 2012
- Postdoc, New York University Medical Center, 2013 - 2022
Animals need stem cells. They are essential for development and facilitate both normal tissue homeostasis and regeneration after injury. These are complex tasks, requiring organisms to carefully balance stem cell replication with differentiation in order to maintain healthy tissues.
To accomplish such precise control, stem cells rely on information conveyed by their surrounding micro-environment, or niche. The niche is a remarkable structure capable of synthesizing many different types of information to control stem cell fate (i.e. intercellular signals, extracellular matrix composition and organismal physiology). As a result, the function of the niche influences many aspects of human health and disease.
I am fascinated by how a niche works and my lab studies three big questions about niche function:
- How is a stem cell niche built during animal development?
- How does the structure/organization of a niche enable it to function?
- How does a niche integrate diverse types of information?
To answer these questions my lab studies the germ line in C. elegans, which contains stem cells that give rise to eggs and sperm. Like other stem cells, germline stem cells coexist with a niche. The germline niche has many amazing features that allow it to control stem cells in response to developmental and environmental cues. Ongoing research in the lab focuses on two of these: how a type of extracellular matrix called basement membrane controls stem cell proliferation, as well as how and why niche cells wrap their cell membranes around stem cells?
If you would like to learn more, or are interested in joining our research group, please contact me! We are growing and are actively recruiting students and postdocs.
- McIntyre, Daniel C. and Nance, J. (2020) Niche cell wrapping ensures primordial germ cell quiescence and protection from intercellular cannibalism. Current Biology, 30(4), 708-714.
- McIntyre, Daniel C., Lyons, D.C., McClay, D.R. (2014) Branching out: origins of the sea urchin larval skeleton in development and evolution. Genesis, 52(3), 173-85.
- McIntyre, Daniel C., Seay, N.W., Croce, J.C. and McClay, D.R. (2013) Short-range Wnt5 signaling initiates specification of sea urchin posterior ectoderm. Development 140, 4881-4889.
- McIntyre, Daniel C., Rakshit, S., Yallowitz, A.R., Loken, L., Jeannotte, L., Capecchi, M.R., and Wellik, D.R. (2007) Hox Patterning of the Vertebrate Rib Cage. Development 134, 2981-2989.