Lab Alumni

Elliott Abrams, PhD

Former post-doctoral fellow ( - 2014)eliott at lab bench

His research focused on understanding the molecular basis for altered cell division mechanics
in the early vertebrate embryo.  Compared to average adult somatic cells, the unusually large cells of the early cleaving embryo require modified mechanics during division to overcome physical constraints related to cleavage furrow formation, chromosome segregation (mitotic spindle dynamics), and nuclear assembly.  He performed a maternal-effect mutagenesis screen in zebrafish and identified two important mutant classes that disrupt the cleavage stage of development. The first class undergoes irregular cleavages prior to the maternal-zygotic transition (MZT), a critical period in animal systems where the maternal program shifts to zygotic control.  The second class arrests development near the MZT and possesses varying degrees of nuclear/chromosomal defects.  His work on a mutant identified in the screen, brambleberry, was published in Cell in 2012. Other mutants from the screen are open projects in the lab.


Megumi Hashiguchi, PhDBettina Mucha-Le Ny, MD

Former post-doctoral fellow (2010 - 2014)

Her research focused on the mechanism of Dorsoventral (DV) patterning and Anteroposterior (AP) patterning during gastrulation. She showed that DV and AP patterning are coordinated temporally progressively. To show this, she activated or inhibited posteriorizing signals such as FGF, Wnt and Retionoic Acid in combination with temporal inhibition of BMP signaling which patterns DV tissues.



former postdoc lee kapp in a chair

Lee Kapp, PhD

Former post-doctoral fellow ( - 2013)

Lee worked on two independent projects, both based on mutants isolated from a genetic screen for maternal effect mutations. His first project involved a mutation in a highly conserved component of the Integrator Complex that is required to limit induction of the dorsal organizer. His second project was to characterize a mutant gene that causesa loss of the germline during the juvenile phase of development.



Sumei Lu - former research specialist

Research Specialist ( - 2014)






yvette at bench

Yvette Langdon, PhD - Former Post-Doctoral Fellow (2010-2015)

I am interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms required for patterning the embryonic dorsoventral axis of the zebrafish, Danio rerio.To investigate this early developmental event I am using a molecular genetics approach to characterize and identify the role of a previously unidentified maternal-effect mutant gene in dorsoventral patterning.




Dave Cobb - Former Fish Facility Managerdave







James Dutko, PhD - Former Post-Doctoral Fellow (2009-2016)James

My research focuses on the role of Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) signaling in patterning the early vertebrate embryo.I am testing several hypotheses to decipher the mechanism by which BMP heterodimers exclusively signal during dorsoventral patterning and whether BMP heterodimers are used more generally during development.To test these ideas, I am using a combination of biochemical and in vivo assays.During my postdoc, I plan to become proficient in the use of zebrafish as a model organism with the long-term goal of establishing my own lab to study mechanisms of cell signaling and differentiation during development.


Shawn Little - former graduate student ( - 2009)

Jennifer Schumacher - former graduate student

Tripti Gupta - former post-doctoral fellow ( -2010)

Florence Marlow - former post-doctoral fellow

Daniel S. Wagner - former post-doctoral fellow (1997 - 2003)

Roland Dosch - former post-doctoral fellow (1999 - 2003)

Bettina Schmid - former grad student (1996 - 1999)

Keith Mintzer - former post-doctoral fellow
SRO at NHLBI in Bethesda, MD

Wenyan Mei - former post-doctoral fellow

Tony Wiemelt - former post-doctoral fellow
Penn w/ administrative position in Precision Medicine

Stephanie Connors - former grad student
Project Manager at MERCK

Vu Nguyen - former grad student and post-doctoral fellow
Private Dermatology practice in California

Hironori Kawahara - former post-doctoral fellow (2012-2013)

Beth Holloway - former graduate student

Contact Information

Mary C. Mullins, Ph.D.
Professor of Cell & Developmental Biology
Department: Cell & Developmental Biology
421 Curie Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6058
Office: 215-898-2644
Fax: 215-898-9871