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Faculty Profile

Laura Johnston

701 West 168th Street
Room 704
New York, NY 10032

Phone: 212-305-1717 (lab) 305-1688 (office)
Fax: 212-923-2090

Johnston lab website



Department of Genetics & Development

Training Activities

Graduate Program in Genetics & Development

Laura Johnston, PhD
Assistant Professor of Genetics & Development

Research Summary


How are growth and cell division are coordinated with cell fate patterning during development, to ensure that animals achieve the right size and shape? In our lab we use the imaginal discs of the fruit fly, Drosophila, as a model system to study this question. We are examining the relationship between growth and the cell cycle, and how Wingless, a major pattern organizer in the wing disc, coordinates and controls these processes during development. 

Together with traditional genetics and  molecular biology, we use a combination of flow cytometry with the Flp-FRT and Gal4-UAS expression systems to  analyze cell proliferation and cellular growth in growing larvae.  This allows us to directly measure and manipulate rates of cell division and cell growth in vivo, and examine the consequences on development.  Ultimately, we wish to determine how signaling by pattern organizers order growth and cell division spatially and temporally to form a wing.

Selected Publications

de la Cova, C., Abril, M., Bellosta, P., Gallant, P., and Johnston, L. A.  2004. Drosophila Myc regulates organ size by inducing cell competition.  Cell 117, 107-116. (Full Text)

Duman-Scheel, M., Johnston, L. A. and Du, W. 2004. Repression of dmyc expression by Wingless promotes RBF-induced G1 arrest in the presumptive Drosophila wing margin. 
Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 101(11): 3857-62 (Full Text).

Johnston, L.A. and Sanders, A.L. 2003.  Wingless promotes cell survival but constrains growth during Drosophila wing development.  Nature Cell Biology, 5 (9): 827-833. (Abstract) (Full Text). 

Johnston, L. A. and Gallant, P. 2002. Control of growth and organ size in Drosophila. BioEssays, 24: 54-64. (Abstract)

Johnston, Laura A. 2000. The trouble with tribbles. Current Biology 10, 502-504.(Abstract)

Johnston, L. A., Prober, D. A., Edgar, B. A., Eisenman, R. N., and Gallant, P. 1999. Drosophila myc regulates cellular growth during development. Cell 98, 779-790. (Abstract)(Full Text)

Lehman, D. A., Patterson, B., Johnston, L. A., Balzer, T., Britton, J. S., Saint, R. and Edgar, B. A. 1999. Cis-regulatory elements of the mitotic inducer, string/Cdc25. Development, 126, 1793-1803. (Abstract)(Full Text - pdf)

Johnston, L. A. and Edgar, B. A. 1998. Wingless and Notch regulate cell-cycle arrest in the developing Drosophila wing. Nature 394, 82-84. (Abstract)(Full Text)

Neufeld, T., de la Cruz, A., Johnston, L. A., and Edgar, B. A. 1998. Coordination of cell division and growth by Drosophila E2F. Cell 93, 1183-1193. (Abstract)

Johnston, L. A. 1998. Uncoupling growth from the cell cycle. BioEssays 20, 283-286.(Abstract)(Full Text - pdf)

Johnston, L. A., Ostrow, B., Jasoni, C. and Blochlinger, L. B. 1998. The homeobox gene cut interacts genetically with the homeotic genes proboscipedia and Antennapedia. Genetics 149, 131-142. (Abstract)(Full Text)

Johnston, L. A. and Schubiger, G. 1996. Ectopic expression of wingless in imaginal discs interferes with decapentaplegic expression and alters cell fate. Development 122, 3519-3529. (Abstract)(Full Tex - pdf)



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