Yevgenya Grinblat

Position title: Associate Professor


Phone: 608-265-3219

Integrative Biology and Neuroscience
Pattern formation, neural development, zebrafish developmental genetics

129 Zoology
Ph.D. (1993) Harvard University, Postdoctoral Research: Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, 1993-2001
Integrative Biology and Neuroscience
Research Interests
Pattern formation, neural development, zebrafish developmental genetics
Research Fields
Developmental Genetics, Zebrafish, Neurogenetics

Research Description:
We are working to understand how the correct shape and size of the vertebrate brain is programmed in the genome, and how this program is realized during embryonic development. Our experimental approach is centered on identifying genes that control and coordinate morphogenesis (shaping) and growth of the brain and eye primordia during embryogenesis in a model organism, the zebrafish (Danio rerio). We have uncovered essential roles for Zic genes in controlling morphogenesis and growth of the brain and retinal primordia. Zic genes encode highly conserved zinc-finger transcription factors. Human zic genes are critical for normal brain morphogenesis since mutations in zics contribute to holoprosencephaly, a prevalent class of birth defects that affect the brain. This conservation assures us that analysis of Zic function in the experimentally accessible zebrafish embryo will advance our understanding of human Zic function, and will ultimately help elucidate the manner in which failure of Zic genes to function leads to holoprosencephaly, neural tube closure defects, and other congenital anomalies.

Representative Publications:
Search PubMed for more publications by Yevgenya Grinblat

Sanek, N.A., Taylor, A.A., Nyholm, M.K. and Grinblat, Y. (2009) Zebrafish zic2a patterns the forebrain through modulation of Hedgehog-activated gene expression. Development 136:3791-3800. PMCID: PMC2766342

Nyholm, M.K., Abdelilah-Seyfried, S., and Grinblat, Y. (2009) A novel genetic mechanism regulates dorsolateral hinge point formation during zebrafish cranial neurulation. J Cell Sci 122: 2137-2148. PMCID: PMC2723160

Sanek, N.A. and Grinblat, Y. (2008). A novel role for zebrafish zic2a during forebrain development. Developmental Biology 317:325-335. PMCID: PMC2409112

Nyholm M., Wu, S-F., Dorsky R.I., Grinblat Y. (2007) The zebrafish zic2a-5 gene pair acts downstream of canonical Wnt signaling to control cell proliferation in the developing tectum. Development, 134:735-746

Elsen, G.E., Choi, L., Millen, K., Grinblat, Y., Prince, V.E. (2008). Zic1 and Zic4 regulate zebrafish roof plate specification and hindbrain ventricle morphogenesis. Developmental Biology, 314:376-392. PMCID: PMC2268115

Goswami, S., Tarapore, R.S., Teslaa, J.J., Grinblat, Y., Setaluri, V., Spiegelman, V.S. (2010) MicroRNA-340-mediated degradation of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor mRNA is inhibited by the coding region determinant-binding protein. J Biol Chem. 285(27):20532-40. Epub 2010 May 3.

Noubissi, F., Sanek, N.A., Kawakami, K., Minamoto, T., Moser, A., Grinblat, Y., Spiegelman, V.S. (2009) Wnt signaling stimulates transcriptional outcome of the Hedgehog pathway by stabilizing GLI1 mRNA. Cancer Res. 69, 8572-8578. PMCID: PMC2783483

Gillhouse, M., Wagner Nyholm M, Hikasa, H., Sokol, S.Y., Grinblat, Y. (2004) Two Frodo/Dapper homologs are expressed in the developing brain and mesoderm of zebrafish. Developmental Dynamics, 230: 403-9