Derek Caetano-Anollés

Derek Caetano-Anolles

Derek Caetano-Anollés, Ph.D.


Research Interests

  • Recent gene duplication of zinc finger transcription factors – Derek’s PhD research in the Stubbs Lab focused on investigating the role of ZNF286A, a Krüppel-type zinc finger transcription factor with a recently evolved human-specific duplicate, ZNF286B. These transcription factors drive differentiation of neural precursor cells and may play undiscovered key roles in critical neuronal developmental pathways, including pathways that have been implicated in microcephaly, schizophrenia, and other neurological disorders.
  • Molecular roots of the social brain – During his graduate career, Derek also worked on the Simons Project, which investigates the conserved molecular foundations for social behavior in animal brains utilizing mice, stickleback fish, and bees as models. He focused on analyzing the RNA and protein expression profiles of the mouse brain after encountering aggressive or maternal-caring stimuli.
  • Genetic framework for mouse facial structure under selective pressures – Derek has since left the Stubbs Lab to work at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, where his research involves identifying the genes responsible for controlling skull shape and facial structure during mouse development, and how those features are impacted by evolutionary and selection pressures.

Selected Publications

  • Rittschof C, Bukhari S, Sloofman L, Caetano-Anollés D Cash-Ahmed A, Kent M, Lu X, Sanogo O, Weisner PA, Zhang H, Bell A, Ma J, Sinha S, Robinson G, Stubbs L. (2014). Neuromolecular responses to social challenge: Common mechanisms across mice, fish and bees. PNAS, 111(50):17929–17934. [Link]
  • Caetano-Anollés D. (2013). Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). In: Maloy S, Hughes K, editors. Brenner’s Encyclopedia of Genetics 2nd Edition. Waltham: Academic Press. Volume 5, pages 392-395. [Link]
  • Nowick K, Fields C, Gernat T, Caetano-Anollés D, Kholina N, Stubbs L. (2011). Gain, Loss and Divergence in Primate Zinc-Finger Genes: A Rich Resource for Evolution of Gene Regulatory Differences between Species. PLoS One, 6(6):e21553. [Link]
  • Stubbs L, Sun Y, Caetano-Anollés D. (2011). Function and evolution of C2H2 zinc finger arrays. Subcellular Biochemistry, 52:75-94. [Link]

Full publication list at LinkedIn, ResearchGate, and ORCID.

LinkedIn Profile

Outside the Lab

  • Derek practices art in both traditional and digital media (visit his Bēhance). He is also very well-versed in the art of illeism.

Email Derek