Resources Directory
Xander University Professor

Doug Melton

Xander University Professor

Thomas Dudley Cabot Professor in the Natural Sciences

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator







Molecular Embryology

Research in our laboratory is focused on the developmental biology of the pancreas. The aim of our research is to understand the genes and cells that direct pancreatic organogenesis.   We plan to use that information to grow and develop pancreatic cells (Islets of Langerhans). These goals challenge us to understand the precursors or stem cells that give rise to the pancreas and to characterize the gene products that specify cell fates during organogenesis. We use several vertebrate organisms, including frogs, chickens, and zebrafish, but the majority of our studies are done with mice.   In addition, a major focus of our present effort is the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells into pancreatic beta (insulin-producing) cells.   We use a variety of techniques including functional genomics and gene arrays for gene discovery, tissue explants and grafting for analyzing inductive signals, and developmental genetics for direct assays of gene function. For more information on our research and group members, see the Melton Lab Homepage.

Selected Publications

Lammert, E., Cleaver, O. and Melton, D.A. (2001) Induction of Pancreatic Differentiation by Signals from Blood Vessels Science 294: 564 -> Full Text <- !!

Gu, G. Dubauskaite J. and Melton D.A. (2002) Direct evidence for the pancreatic lineage:   NGN3+ cells are islet progenitors and are distinct from duct progenitors. Development 129 (10): 2447-57.

Ramalho-Santos, M., Yoon S, Matsuzaki, Y, Mulligan, R.C., Melton, DA. (2002)  “Stemness”: transcriptional profiling of embryonic and adult stem cells. Science 298(5593):597-600.

Rajagopal, J., Anderson, W.J., Kume, S., Martinez, O.I., Melton, D.A.  (2003) Insulin staining of ES cell progeny from insulin uptake.  Science 299(5605):363.

Chiang, M.K. Melton, D.A. (2003) Single-cell transcript analysis of pancreas development. Dev. Cell. 4(3):383-393.

Kumar M, and Melton, D. (2003) Pancreas specification: a budding question. Curr. Opinion Genet. Dev. 13:401-401.

Murtaugh LC, Stanger BZ, Kwan KM, Melton DA. (2003) Notch signaling controls multiple steps of pancreatic differentiation.  Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. Dec 9; 100(25): 14920-5.

Gu G., Wells JM, Dombkowski D., Preffer F., Aronow B., Melton DA. (2004) Global expression analysis of gene regulatory pathways during endocrine pancreatic development. Development 131 (1):165-179.

Cowan C.A., Klimanskaya I, McMahon J., Atienza J., Witmyer J., Zucker JP, Wang S., Morton CC, McMahon AP, Powers D, and Melton DA. (2004) Derivation of embryonic stem-cell lines from human blastocysts.   N Engl J Med350;13, 1353-1356.