American Philosophical Society
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202. Cellular and Developmental Biology[X]
1Name:  Dr. Clifford J. Tabin
 Institution:  Harvard Medical School
 Year Elected:  2019
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  202. Cellular and Developmental Biology
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1954
Dr. Cliff Tabin obtained his Ph.D. in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1984, where he made one of the first retroviral vectors and also first identified the activating mutation in the ras oncogene, in the laboratory of Robert Weinberg. Dr. Tabin began his work in developmental biology during a brief postdoc in the laboratory of Doug Melton at Harvard University, before leaving a year later for a position as an independent Fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital. There he began studying limb regeneration and development in an effort to bring modern molecular tools to classical embryological systems, work he continued when he joined the faculty of the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School in 1989. His lab is responsible for the first use of retroviral vectors for gene transfer into developing chick embryos, opening that system for genetic manipulations. Focusing on the genetic basis of pattern formation and morphogenesis, his lab has worked on a range of developmental problems, including contributions to our understanding of limb development, the isolation of Sonic hedgehog as a key developmental morphogen, the discovery of the first genes involved in regulating left-right asymmetry in the embryo and elucidation of the role of physical forces in shaping the gut. He has also examined the way developmental pathways are modulated through evolution to produce different morphologies such as in the generation of distinct beaks in different species of Darwin’s Finches, enlarged legs in hopping rodents called jerboas, and metabolic evolution in cave fish
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