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Michelle A. Starz-Gaiano

Michelle A. Starz-Gaiano

Professor and Chair

Biological Sciences

Biological Sciences Bldg BS 478


Ph D New York University School of Medicine 2002

BS Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1994


Postdoctoral: Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, D. Montell laboratory
Ph.D.: New York University, Developmental Genetics, R. Lehmann laboratory
B.S.: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Biology

Research Interests

How do complex organs form during animal development? Our research group is working to identify the signaling events that enable cells to migrate, interact, and contribute to tissue architecture. We use Drosophila genetics, molecular biology, imaging, and interdisciplinary approaches. In particular, our research group focuses on understanding the regulation of the well-conserved Janus Kinase/Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription (JAK/STAT) pathway and steroid hormone signaling.

Teaching Interests

Cell Biology, Developmental Genetics, Eukaryotic Molecular Genetics, Biomathematics. Evidence-based improvements in pedagogy.

Selected Classes

  • Fall 2020 BIOL 303 – Cell Biology
  • Spring 2020 BIOL 414 – Eukaryotic Molecular Genetics
  • Fall 2016 BIOL 303 – Cell Biology
  • Spring 2016 BIOL 614 – Gen & Euk Mol Biol
  • BIOL 414 – Eukaryotics Gen/Mol Biol

Contracts, Fellowships, Grants, and Sponsored Research

Starz-Gaiano, Michelle, Starz-Gaiano, Michelle. “Regulation and function of STAT signaling in cell adhesion,” Grant (Funded). Sponsored By: NSF, Biological Sciences IOS. (Feb 15, 2011 – Jan 31, 2017).

Intellectual Contributions

Bhattacharya, Mallika, Starz-Gaiano, Michelle. (2024). Steroid hormone signaling synchronizes cell migration machinery, adhesion, and polarity to direct collective movement. 137 jcs261164 Journal of Cell Science.

Trivedi, Sunny, Bhattacharya, Mallika, Starz-Gaiano, Michelle. (2022). Mind bomb 2 promotes cell migration and epithelial structure by regulating adhesion complexes and the actin cytoskeleton. 491 94-104 Developmental Biology.

Berez, A, Peercy, Bradford E., Starz-Gaiano, Michelle. (2020). Development and Analysis of a Quantitative Mathematical Model of Bistability in the Cross Repression System Between APT and SLBO Within the JAK/STAT Signaling Pathway.. 11 803 Frontiers in physiology.

Peercy, Bradford E., Starz-Gaiano, Michelle. (2020). Clustered cell migration: Modeling the model system of Drosophila border cells.. 100 167-176 Seminars in cell & developmental biology.

Campbell, Shonda M., Starz-Gaiano, Michelle, Leips, Jeffery. (2020). . JoVE.

Gabrawy, Mariann M., Campbell, Sarah, Carbone, Mary Anna., Arya, Gunjan H., Turlapati, Lavanya B., Walston, Jeremy D., Starz-Gaiano, Michelle, Everett, Logan, Leips, Jeffery W., Abadir, Peter M. (2019). Lisinopril Preserves Physical Resilience and Extends Life Span in a Genotype-Specific Manner in Drosophila melanogaster. 12. 74 1844-1852 JOURNALS OF GERONTOLOGY SERIES A-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND MEDICAL SCIENCES.

Trivedi, Sunny, Starz-Gaiano, Michelle. (2018). Drosophila Jak/STAT Signaling: Regulation and Relevance in Human Cancer and Metastasis.. Special Issue: Drosophila models of human disease 12. 19 International journal of molecular sciences.

Saadin, Afsoon, Starz-Gaiano, Michelle. (2018). Cytokine exocytosis and JAK/STAT activation in the Drosophila ovary requires the vesicle trafficking regulator α-Snap.. 131 Journal of Cell Science.

Manning, L, Sheth, J, Bridges, S, Saadin, A, Odinammadu, K, Andrew, D, Spencer, S, Montell, D, Starz-Gaiano, Michelle. (2017). A hormonal cue promotes timely follicle cell migration by modulating transcription profiles.. 148 56-68 Mechanisms of development.

Saadin, Afsoon, Starz-Gaiano, Michelle. (2016). Circuitous genetic regulation governs a straightforward cell migration. 10. 32 660-73 Cambridge MA: Trends in Genetics.

Saadin, Afsoon, Starz-Gaiano, Michelle. (2016). Identification of Novel Regulators of the JAK/STAT Signaling Pathway in Border Cell Migration in the Drosophila Ovary. 7. 6 1991-2002 Bethesda: G3.

Monahan, Amanda, Starz-Gaiano, Michelle. (2016). Apontic regulates somatic stem cell numbers in Drosophila testes. 1. 16 doi: 10.1186/s12861-016-0103-3. BMC Developmental Biology.

Monahan, Amanda, Starz-Gaiano, Michelle. (2015). Socs36E limits STAT signaling via Cullin2 and a SOCS-box independent mechanism in the Drosophila egg chamber. 3. 138 313-27 Mechanisms of Development.

Manning, L A., Weideman, A M., Peercy, Bradford E., Starz-Gaiano, Michelle. (2015). Tissue landscape alters adjacent cell fates during Drosophila egg development.. 6 7356 Nature communications.

Stonko, D P., Manning, L, Starz-Gaiano, Michelle, Peercy, Bradford E. (2015). . 4. 10 e0122799 PloS one.

Manning, Lathiena, Starz-Gaiano, Michelle. (2015). Upright imaging of Drosophila egg chambers. doi: 10.3791/52636. 97 Journal of Visualized Experiments.

Manning, Lathiena, Starz-Gaiano, Michelle. (2015). Culturing Egg Chambers and Investigating Developmental Processes through Live Imaging.. Drosophila oogenesis: Methods in Molecular Biology Series Springer.

Horn, Lucas, Leips, Jeffery W., Starz-Gaiano, Michelle. (2014). Phagocytic ability declines with age in adult Drosophila hemocytes. 13 719-728 Aging Cell.

Montell, Denise, Yoon, Wan Hee, Starz-Gaiano, Michelle. (2012). Group Choreography: Molecular Mechanisms Orchestrating the Collective Movement of Border Cells. 13 631-645 Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology.

Mekus, Zachary, Cooley, Jessica, George, Aaron, Sabo, Victoria, Strzegowski, Morgan, Starz-Gaiano, Michelle, Peercy, Bradford E. . 1. 5 1-21 AIMS Biophysics.


Peercy, Bradford E., Berez, Alyssa (Author), Starz-Gaiano, Michelle (Author). Society of Mathematical Biology Annual Meeting. Oral Presentation. "A Minimal Model for STAT regulation in Initiation of Clustered Border Cell Migration.," Society of Mathematical Biology. (Aug 18, 2020).