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Graduate student: Genetics and Molecular Biology (2010-2016)

Contact info: jnesmith [at]

Education: Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA B.S. in Biology (2009)

Fellowships and Awards: National Science Foundation GRFP

Research: I am interested in how complex branching and tissue structure is generated. Within the Bautch lab I am applying this larger interest to the question of angiogenesis, the expansion of existing blood vessel into a complex, branched network that is required for development. The vasculature is also of interest in adults and disease where quiescent blood vessels are coopted and can be induced to undergo inappropriate angiogenesis, by aberrantly growing tissues. My research focuses on understanding the signaling which regulates the selection and maintenance in anastomosis (the connection of two blood vessels to form a new conduit for blood flow). I have generated data suggesting that blood vessels regulate sites of anastomosis prior to connection, a process previously thought to occur through later pruning and regression signals secondary to blood flow. I am addressing the signaling role of VEGF/FLT1 in this process using 3D cell culture and in vivo zebrafish models to understand anastomotic choice and how a cell determines an appropriate site for a new vessel within a plexus.


Allen AK, Nesmith JE, Golden A. An RNAi-based Suppressor Screen Identifies Interactors of the Myt1 Ortholog of C. elegans. G# (Bethesda. 4(12) 2329-43. 2014. PMID: 25298536

Verghese E, Schocken J, Jacob S, Wimer AM, Royce R, Nesmith JE, Baer GM, Clever S, McCain E, Lakowski B, Wightman B. “The tailless ortholog nhr-67 functions in the development of the C. elegans ventral uterus.” 2011.  Dev Biol 356(2): 516-28.

Stein KK, Nesmith JE, Ross BD, Golden A. “Functional redundancy of paralogs of an anaphase promoting complex/cyclosome subunit in Caenorhabditis elegans meiosis.” 2010. Genetics 186(4): 1285-93.