Current Course Directors


Carole LaBonne, Northwestern University

Carole grew up in NY and did her undergraduate work at University of Rochester, where she become inspired by the work of famed embryologist and Rochester emeritus Prof. Johannes Holtfreter. She received her PhD from Harvard University where she studied germ layer formation using Xenopus as a model. She served as a TA for the Embryology course for four summers during grad school, which solidified her love of embryonic development and the MBL. She then moved to Caltech to pursue postdoctoral work studying the neural crest with Marianne Bronner. She joined the faculty at Northwestern University in 2001, where she is now Professor and Chair of the department of Molecular Biosciences, Director of the Developmental Systems and Stem Cell Biology Training Cluster, and part of the leadership of Northwestern’s NSF-Simons Center for Quantitative Biology. Her research focuses on development of the vertebrate neural crest, and control stem cell attributes in neural crest cells and pluripotent blastula stem cells.


David Sherwood, Duke University

Dave grew up in Champaign, Illinois and spent summers backpacking in the Wind River Range of Wyoming.  He graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University (with a year in Durham, England) in 1990.  He received his PhD in the lab of David McClay from Duke University Department of Biology in 1997, where his thesis work identified and determined the function of the sea urchin Notch receptor.  Dave carried out his postdoctoral work in the lab of Paul Sternberg at the California Institute of Technology where he was trained in C. elegans genetics and cell biology.  He joined the faculty at Duke University in 2005, where he is now a Professor of Biology, Co-Director of the Regeneration Next Initiative for Regenerative Biology and Director of the Development and Stem Cell Biology Program.  His research focuses on elucidating cell-extracellular matrix interactions that occur during cell invasion, stem cell niche formation and tissue formation, growth and regeneration.