Higgins Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
Richard Mann is the Higgins Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, and holds an Interdisciplinary Faculty appointment in the Department of Systems Biology. He uses the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model system for studying a range of problems related to how transcription factors coordinate complex processes during animal development. The lab is particularly interested in the Hox family of homeodomain genes, which code for transcription factors that specifiy tissue and cellular identities across the animal kingdom. The Hox projects address how these transcription factors are able to specifically regulate their target genes during development. Their studies have also focused on motor neuron differentiation in the fly leg, the development of the proximal-distal axis in leg development, and the regulation of tissue growth and organ size. In collaborations with Barry Honig and Harmen Bussemaker, the Mann Lab is also developing novel computational tools to discover transcriptional regulatory regions and analyze DNA binding specificities on a global scale.