Marian Walhout has a broad interest in network biology, with a focus on gene regulatory and metabolic networks and the connections between them.
Her work combines genetic, molecular and computational approaches to gain both broad systems-level, and deep mechanistic insights. The main model of choice in the Walhout lab is the nematode C. elegans, a small worm that eats bacteria and is found all over the world in temperate climates. Recent work in the lab found that C. elegans can respond dramatically to different bacterial diets. Responses occur at the physiological level to affect life history traits such as developmental rate, reproduction and aging, and at the molecular level to coordinate gene expression and metabolic flux. Further, research in her group has found that bacterial diet greatly affects the animal’s response to chemotherapeutic drugs. By using bacterial and C. elegans genetics, the Walhout lab dissects the mechanisms involved in these responses. Altogether, her studies provide insights into how gene regulation controls metabolism and vice versa.
Curriculum Development Award, UMMS, 2018
The Maroun Semaan Chair in Biomedical Research, 2017
Ellison Foundation Research Scholar Award, 2007-2011
Worcester Foundation Research Scholar Award, 2004-2006
Garcia-Gonzalez, A.P. et al. "Bacterial Metabolism Affects the C. elegans Response to Cancer Chemotherapeutics." Cell 169(3) (2017, Apr 20): 431-441.e8.
Grove, C.A.* et al. "A multiparameter network reveals extensive divergence between C. elegans bHLH transcription factors." Cell 138(2) (2009, Jul 23): 314-327.
Watson, E. et al. "Interspecies systems biology uncovers metabolites affecting C. elegans gene expression and life history traits." Cell 156(4) (2014, Feb 13): 759-770. Erratum in: Cell 156(6) (2014, Mar 13):1336-1337.
Watson, E. et al. "Metabolic network rewiring of propionate flux compensates vitamin B12 deficiency in C. elegans." Elife (2016, Jul 6,5) pii: e17670.
MacNeil, L.T. et al. "Transcription Factor Activity Mapping of a Tissue-Specific in vivo Gene Regulatory Network." Cell Syst. 1(2) (2015, Aug 26;): 152-162.