Susan K. Dutcher, PhD

Interim Head of the Department of Genetics

Washington University in St. Louis (WU)

In the last few years, knowledge about the role of cilia in human biology has grown exponentially. Defects in cilia are connected to developmental defects as well as adult disorders including obesity and diabetes. Using the alga, Chlamydomonas, we have studied the maturation of basal bodies, the gating of proteins into the cilium, genetic interactions of intraflagellar transport proteins, ciliary motility, and signaling through the ciliary membrane proteins using genetics, cell biology and comparative genomics. These studies have lead to better understanding of the role of cilia in polycystic kidney disease and primary ciliary dyskinesia. Recently, we have examined the role of cilia genes in cancer.