Two Outstanding Scientists To Join MCDB

Oct 3, 2012

The MCDB department is excited to announce the successful recruitment of two outstanding scientists from Johns Hopkins University, Drs. Denise and Craig Montell.

Denise Montell

Dr. Denise Montell is renowned for her work using Drosophila genetics to investigate the molecular mechanisms of cell motility. Her work is of broad significance for such areas as tissue formation and regeneration, wound healing, immune responses and tumor cell metastasis. She has established a powerful experimental approach combining genetics and advanced imaging methods in the Drosophila ovary as a model system to study invasive cell behavior, and epithelial to mesenchymal transitions. Most recently she has found convincing evidence for reversal of the programmed cell death pathway (also known as apoptosis) in a process she has name “anastasis”.

Dr. Denise Montell is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego (B.A.), and of Stanford University (Ph.D.).

Craig Montell

Dr. Craig Montell is internationally renowned for his pioneering research on the cellular and molecular biology of Transient Receptor Potential channels (TRP channels), which are key sensory components of animal behavior and physiology. In a seminal publication in 1989 with Gerry Rubin he reported the discovery of the first TRP channel using the Drosophila (fruit fly) visual cycle as a model. Research on the TRP channel family has increased extraordinarily since this initial report, and Dr. Montell has continued to play a dominant role. Among his most important discoveries are the identification of the first mammalian TRP channel homolog, and the identification of the mechanism of action of TRP channels via calcium signaling. TRP channels are now known to be integral to a myriad of biological functions including taste, temperature and pain sensation, intracellular osmotic regulation, and chemoattraction. Dr. Montell’s current research interests encompass the extensive breadth of the field, and range from the role of TRP channels in circadian rhythms to the development of insect repellents.

Dr. Craig Montell received his B.A. degree from the Department of Bacteriology at the UC Berkeley, and his Ph.D. from the Department of Microbiology at the UCLA.