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Publications in VIVO

Brumbaugh, Justin J

Assistant Professor


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • In development, numerous cell types with highly specific functions arise from a single cell, the zygote. During this process, the embryo must strike a fine balance between replenishing stem cell populations (i.e., self-renewal) and appropriate induction of specialized cells (differentiation). Remarkably, all of these decisions take place largely without changing genomic content, which underscores the importance of regulatory mechanisms in development. Understanding these mechanisms is crucial for both basic science and medicine. Our lab seeks to develop and apply innovative tools to study the molecular determinants of cell fate. We focus specifically on RNA processing and chromatin-based regulation during differentiation and cellular reprogramming.


  • Stem cells, pluripotency, reprogramming, cell fate change, histone modifications, chromatin, chromatin modifications, alternative polyadenylation, homeostasis, intestinal plasticity


selected publications


courses taught

  • MCDB 4650 - Developmental Biology
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2020 / Spring 2021 / Spring 2022 / Spring 2023 / Spring 2024
    Explores the development of invertebrate and vertebrate organisms, emphasizing cellular, molecular and genetic mechanisms. Focuses on conceptual understanding and experimental approaches to topics such as embryology, developmental control of gene expression in eukaryotic cells, mechanisms of differentiation and morphogenesis and developmental genetics. Same as MCDB 5651.
  • MCDB 4980 - Honors Research
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2021
    Provides faculty-supervised research for students who have been approved by the departmental honors committee. Normally taken during the semester before completion of the honors thesis. Recommended prerequisite: MCDB 4840 or comparable research experience, and minimum GPA of 3.20.
  • MCDB 4990 - Honors Thesis
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2021 / Spring 2022
    Involves the preparation and defense of an honors thesis, based on faculty-supervised original research, including final phases of the research project. Recommended prerequisites: MCDB 4840 or MCDB 4980 or comparable research experience, and minimum GPA of 3.3 and approval by the MCDB Honors Committee.
  • MCDB 6000 - Introduction to Laboratory Methods
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2020 / Spring 2021 / Fall 2021 / Fall 2022 / Spring 2023 / Fall 2023
    Introduces methodology and techniques used in biological research. Designed as a tutorial between a few students and one faculty member. Students are expected to read original research papers, discuss findings, and to plan and execute experiments in selected areas. May be repeated up to 15 total credit hours.


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