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Robin P. Wharton, PhD


Primary Appointment
Molecular Genetics

Joint Appointment
Department of Cancer Biology and Genetics

Contact Information


Room 223 Biological Sciences Building
Ohio State University
484 W. 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH  43210

Research Interests​

Post-transcriptional regulation during Drosophila development

Control of mRNA translation and stability plays a key role in early development of many organisms and is an essential aspect of gene regulation in germ cells of animals from nematodes to humans.  We use fruit flies as a model system to study such regulation, focusing in particular on the translational repressor Nanos (Nos).

The best understood role for Nos in Drosophila is in establishing the embryonic body plan; abdominal segmentation requires Nos-dependent repression of maternal hb mRNA in the posterior of the syncytial cleavage stage embryo.  Nos is incorporated into two identical repressor complexes on the 3’-UTR of hb mRNA, recruited via cooperative interactions with the Pumilio (Pum) co-repressor.  Recent work from the lab has shown that another mRNA regulated jointly by Nos and Pum, bicoid, is controlled not in the early embryo but in the male germ line of the adult.

The lab is generally interested in understanding how Nos governs other biological processes during Drosophila development, particularly in maintenance of female germ line stem cells.  To this end, we are pursuing a strategy to identify Nos-regulated mRNAs in vivo.​