Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy and the College
Heather Marlow’s research aims to understand the general principles of how transcriptional regulatory programs are encoded in animal genomes and how this information is translated into functional animal cell types and body plans. In particular, she is intrigued by the rewiring of genes to allow for their use in new structures. She uses marine invertebrates to study the translation of developmental “blueprints” into anatomical form. These organisms develop fewer cell types than vertebrates do, making them excellent systems for examining gene regulation at the whole systems level. By understanding and comparing the mechanisms by which gene regulation occurs in these animals, she aims to better define global principles underlying genome structure-function relationships.
Her recent work uncovering the cellular diversity of the sea anemone was published in the journal Cell.
Marlow received her PhD in zoology from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and her BA in biology from Boston University. She completed her postdoctoral training at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, and most recently was a research scientist at the Institut Pasteur in Paris.