University of Virginia
My research takes genetic, cell biological, live imaging, and quantitative approaches to studying the
development of biological patterns using the fruit fly model system, Drosophila Melanogaster.
1. How does cell shape and movement affect cell-cell communication? We are interested in how
epithelial cells use long cellular extensions to communicate with distant neighboring cells in
order to engage in lateral inhibition. Several cell types across many signaling paradigms in
development have been observed to communicate using these kinds of extensions, but the
mechanisms that drive their formation, behavior, and signaling properties are unknown.
2. What are the rules governing individual cell fate decisions and how do they scale up during
tissue-wide patterning events? Although Notch signaling and the process of lateral inhibition has
been known to establish sensory bristle patterns on the adult fruit fly, the dynamics of this
process have only recently been observed. We have taken a dual approach to this problem,
combining expertise in the biological system along with collaborative work to develop
mathematical models of bristle pattern formation.
Hunter GL, He L, Perrimon N, Charras G, Giniger E, and B Baum (2019) A role for actomyosin contractility
in Notch signaling. BMC Biology (in press).
Hadjivasiliou Z, Hunter GL, and B Baum (2016) A new mechanism for spatial pattern formation via lateral
and protrusion-mediated lateral signalling. J R Soc Interface 13: 20160484
Hunter, GL, Hadjivasiliou, Z., Bonin, H., He, L., Perrimon, N., Charras, G., and B Baum. (2016) Coordinated
control of Notch-Delta signalling and cell division aids lateral inhibition mediated tissue patterning.
Development 143: 2305-2310.
Protonotarios, E., Baum, B., Johnston, A., Hunter, GL, and LD Griffin. (2014) An absolute interval scale of
order for point patterns. J R Soc Interface 11: 20140342.
Hunter, GL, Crawford, JC, Jenkins, JZ, and DP Kiehart. (2014) Ion channels contribute to the regulation of
cell sheet forces during Drosophila dorsal closure. Development 141: 325-334.