Ismat Lab: Research in Developmental Biology and Molecular Genetics

September 27, 2016 / By: Afshan Ismat, Ph.D.

Research Interests

The extracellular matrix (ECM) surrounds all cells and tissues, and without it any multicellular organism would just be a ball of cells with no structure.  During development of these multicellular organisms, cells need to migrate through this dense matrix to form tissues and organs.  In order for cells to migrate properly, the ECM is constantly being restructured.  Thus, the ECM is as essential for cell behavior as the cell itself.  The focus of my lab is to understand how the ECM gets restructured, and how does this restructuring ultimately affect cell behavior?  We use the model system Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly) to answer these questions.






(undergraduates are underlined)

ismat and students


  • *Lhamo, T. and Ismat, A. (2015), The extracellular protease stl functions to inhibit migration of v’ch1 sensory neuron during Drosophila embryogenesis, Mechanisms of Development 137, 1-10. 
  • Ismat, A., Cheshire, A.M., and Andrew, D.J. (2013), The secreted AdamTS-A metalloprotease is required for collective cell migration, Development 140, 1981-1993.
  • Chen, Y-C., Lin, Y., Banerjee, S., Venken, K., Li, J., Ismat, A., Chen, K., Duraine, L., Bellen, H.J., and Bhat, M.A. (2012), Drosophila Neuroligin 2 is required presynaptically and postsynaptically for proper synaptic differentiation and synaptic transmission, The Journal of Neuroscience 32, 16018-16030.
  • Reim, I., Hollfelder, D., Ismat, A., and Frasch, M. (2012), The FGF8-related signals Pyramus and Thisbe promote pathfinding, substrate adhesion, and survival of migrating longitudinal gut muscle founder cells, Developmental Biology 368, 28-43.
  • Ismat, A., Schaub, C., Reim, I., Kirchner, K., Schultheis, D., and Frasch, M. (2010), HLH54F is required for the Specification and Migration of Longitudinal Gut Muscle Founders from the Caudal Mesoderm of Drosophila, Development 137, 3107-3117.
  • Inaki, M., Shinza-Kameda, M., Ismat, A., Frasch, M., and Nose, A. (2010), Drosophila Tey represses transcription of a repulsive cue Toll and generates neuromuscular target specificity, Development 137, 2139-2146.
  • Watford, M., Chelleraj, V., Ismat, A., Brown, P., and Raman, P. (2002), Hepatic glutamine metabolism, Nutrition 18, 301-303.

* Tashi Lhamo was an undergraduate at Franklin & Marshall College where I was a Visiting Assistant Professor from 2013-2015.


ismat research