Professor Michael J. Stern wearing a light blue collared shirt
College of Arts and Sciences
(773) 442-6010
Developmental Biology
Genetics of model organisms
C. elegans
Courses Taught
Biochemistry (BIO 362/462G)
Research Interests
- Molecular and genetic approaches to understanding developmental biology
- Cell signaling via receptor tyrosine kinases
- Cell migration guidance mechanisms in the nematode C. elegans

My research focuses on understanding the fundamental mechanisms that control how complex, multicellular animals develop from single-cell fertilized eggs, a field known as Developmental Biology. We use molecular and genetic approaches in the model organism C. elegans to understand how cells within multicellular animals “talk” with each other to generate and maintain their normal structures and functions. Diseases such as cancer and a wide range of other pathologies arise from aberrations in the normal functioning of these processes. My specific areas of focus have concentrated on analyzing the cell-to-cell signaling mechanisms that guide migrating cells to their proper targets and that mediate fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling processes. The high degree of conservation of structure and function during metazoan evolution makes our findings in this organism applicable to our general understanding of biology, human biology and disease.

B.S. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University

Ph.D. in Biochemistry, University of California, Berkeley

Postdoctoral research: Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Advisor: Dr. H. Robert

Selected Publications

Lo, T.-W., Bennett, D.C., Goodman, S.J., and Stern, M.J. (2010). Caenorhabditis elegans fibroblast growth factor receptor signaling can occur independently of the multi-substrate adaptor FRS2. Genetics 185: 537-547. PMID: 20308281

Kam, N., Kugler, H., Marelly, R., Appleby, L., Fisher J, Pnueli, A., Harel, D., Stern, M.J., Hubbard, E.J. (2008). A scenario-based approach to modeling development: a prototype model of C. elegans vulval fate specification. Dev. Biol. 323: 1-5. PMID: 18706404

Goodman, S.J., Branda, C.S., Robinson, M.K., Burdine, R.D. and Stern, M.J. (2003). Alternative splicing affecting a novel domain in the C. elegans EGL-15 FGF receptor confers functional specificity. Development 130: 3757-3766 PMID: 12835392

Mihaylova, V.T., Borland, C.Z., Manjarrez, L., Stern, M.J., and Sun, H. (1999). The PTEN tumor suppressor homolog in C. elegans regulates longevity and dauer formation in an insulin-receptor like signaling pathway. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 96: 7427-7432. PMID: 10377431

Burdine, R.D., Branda, C.S. and Stern, M.J. (1998). EGL-17(FGF) expression coordinates the attraction of the migrating sex myoblasts with vulval induction in C. elegans. Development 125: 1083-1093. PMID: 9463355

Clark, S.G., Stern, M.J., and Horvitz, H.R. (1992). C. elegans cell-signalling gene sem-5
encodes a protein with SH2 and SH3 domains. Nature 356: 340-344. PMID: 1372395

Thomas, J.H., Stern, M.J. and Horvitz, H.R. (1990). Cell interactions coordinate the
development of the C. elegans egg-laying system. Cell 62: 1041-1052. PMID: 1821851

Stern, M.J., Ames, G.F.-L., Smith, N.H., Robinson, E.C. and Higgins, C.F. (1984). Repetitive Extragenic Palindromic Sequences: A major component of the bacterial genome. Cell 37: 1015-1026. PMID:  6378385

Room BBH 358B
Northeastern Illinois University
5500 North St. Louis Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625
United States

(773) 442-6010
Office Hours
Please email to arrange to meet or speak with Dr. Stern.
Main Campus