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Welcome to the Walhout Lab

The Structure, Function and Evolution of Biological Networks

Broad system level of understanding diagramIn the Walhout lab we aim to understand how biological networks are organized, how their organization enables function, and how these networks evolve. Our main focus is on the gene regulatory networks that control proper gene expression, and on metabolic networks that provide building blocks and energy to support organism development, growth, wound healing, homeostasis, and response to nutritional, environmental and therapeutic inputs. We are particularly interested in the communication between metabolic and gene regulatory networks to ask important questions that navigate both broad systems-level as well as deep mechanistic biological processes. We mainly use the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system. Worms are highly adaptable, easy to manipulate, and have many analogs in human genetics. Furthermore, there are many genetic tools and worm-specific techniques that are not available for studying “higher” eukaryotes. Overall, our research involves three broad areas in systems biology:

  1. NETWORK STRUCTURE, FUNCTION AND EVOLUTION
  2. TISSUE-RELEVANT NETWORKS
  3. HOST-MICROBIOTA INTERACTIONS IN NUTRITION AND DRUG RESPONSE

Recent News

Getting Results…
  • Foxetal2022_Fig1.png

    Our new publication appears in Nature: C. elegans as a model for inter-individual variation in metabolism

    Our health is greatly influenced by our genome and diet. It is difficult to study metabolic phenotypes as a function of diet and genetic variation in humans, because such studies require the collection of large sets of data under precisely controlled conditions.

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  • Blog-post-07_2_2021-1024x488.jpg

    Working together during the COVID-19 pandemic, a silver lining in a trying time

    Dr. Walhout recently wrote a post on the motivations of and the process behind our WormPaths paper (in press at Genetics). This post is featured on the Genetics Society of America “Genes to Genomes” blog. Below is an excerpt.

    Read more

Recent Publications

  • Bacterial diet modulates tamoxifen-induced death via host fatty acid metabolism
    September 26, 2022

    Bacterial diet modulates tamoxifen-induced death via host fatty acid metabolism

    Diot C, Garcia-Gonzalez AP, Vieria AF, Walker M, Honeywell M, Doyle H, Ponomarova O, Rivera Y, Na H, Zhang H, Lee M, Olsen CP, Walhout AJM. (2022). Bacterial diet modulates tamoxifen-induced death via host fatty acid metabolism. Nat Commun, 13:5595.

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  • A Metabolic Regulatory Network for the Caenorhabditis elegans intestine
    August 19, 2022

    A Metabolic Regulatory Network for the Caenorhabditis elegans intestine

    Bhattacharya S, Horowitz BB, Zhang J, Li X, Zhang H, Giese GE, Holdorf AD, Walhout AJM. (2022). A Metabolic Regulatory Network for the Caenorhabditis elegans intestine. iScience, 25(8):104688.

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Marian Walhout, Ph.D.
Chair - Department of Systems Biology
The Maroun Semaan Chair in Biomedical Research

University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School
Albert Sherman Center, Room 5.1051
386 Plantation St.
Worcester, MA 01605
E-mail: Marian Walhout

Lynn NeJaime, Assistant to Dr. Walhout
Albert Sherman Center, Room 5.1053
Phone: 508-856-3601
Fax: 508-856-2105

Lab Phone: 508-856-4367

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