David Umulis will speak at the 5th Midwest Imaging and Microanalysis Workshop at Notre Dame on May 8, 2018.

Author: Sarah Chapman


Guest Speaker at MWIM Workshop at Notre Dame on May 8th, 2018 at McKenna Hall.

To register and to see an entire list of speakers and the agenda visit imaging.nd.edu

Transforming growth factor-Beta (TGF-Beta) pathways regulate many cellular processes in human development. Mutations in the Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMPs), a TGF-Beta family member, can lead to a number of diseases including cancer, vascular disease, congenital heart disease, and juvenile polyposis syndrome (JPS), a genetic disorder which greatly increases the risk for developing gastrointestinal cancer. BMP pathways provide a natural candidate for drug development, however the complex mechanisms of BMP regulation and cross-talk with other signaling pathways such as the map-kinase pathway preclude our ability to understand, let alone predict, the relationship between a change in BMP activity and the downstream effects. Future treatment of cancer, genetic, and developmental disorders will require a more quantitative, systems-level approach aided by sophisticated models that directly couple tissue geometry, molecular mechanisms, and other information-rich data sets. 

My lab focuses on microscopy, image analysis, and finite-element computer modeling to elucidate mechanisms of BMP regulation by developing organism- and tissue-scale, data-driven models of Drosophila embryos, Xenopus embryos, and the epithelial layers of the Drosophila wing imaginal disc. While there is no substitute for hypothesis testing by experimentation, the organism-scale models provide a new methodology to conduct large-scale screens to test plausible regulatory mechanisms and identify conditions that lead to easily discernable phenotypes. We are uniquely capable of developing the models, conducting the model-driven screens, and testing the model predictions by experimentation and biological imaging.


Some of his publications include:

Facilitated transport of a Dpp/Scw heterodimer by Sog/Tsg leads to robust patterning of the Drosophila blastoderm embryo

O Shimmi, D Umulis, H Othmer, MB O’Connor

Cell 120 (6), 873-886


Shaping BMP morphogen gradients in the Drosophila embryo and pupal wing

MB O'Connor, D Umulis, HG Othmer, SS Blair

Development 133 (2), 183-193


The extracellular regulation of bone morphogenetic protein signaling

D Umulis, MB O'Connor, SS Blair

Development 136 (22), 3715-3728


The BMP-binding protein Crossveinless 2 is a short-range, concentration-dependent, biphasic modulator of BMP signaling in Drosophila

M Serpe, D Umulis, A Ralston, J Chen, DJ Olson, A Avanesov, H Othmer, ...

Developmental cell 14 (6), 940-953


Robust, bistable patterning of the dorsal surface of the Drosophila embryo

DM Umulis, M Serpe, MB O’Connor, HG Othmer

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 103 (31), 11613-11618



To see an entire selection of David Umulis work visit his Google Scholar page.