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Daniela Drummond-Barbosa, PhD

Department Affiliations Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Bloomberg School of Public Health
Rank Professor
Office Phone 410- 614-5021
Lab Phone
Fax 410-955-2926
SOM Address E8201Bloomberg School of Public Health Building

Research Interests

Despite intense research on intrinsic and local regulators, stem cell control by diet or other environmental factors remains largely unexplored. Diet influences wound healing, hematopoietic transplants, and cancer risk in humans, but specific effects on mammalian stem cells in vivo are mostly unknown. The Drummond-Barbosa laboratory uses Drosophila melanogaster as a model to study stem cell regulation by diet, and has identified cellular and molecular pathways that link diet to stem cell proliferation and self-renewal. For example, we demonstrated that insulin-like peptides directly modulate germline stem cell (GSC) proliferation, and act on cap cells, major niche components, to control GSC maintenance. We showed that the nutrient sensor Target of Rapamycin (TOR) has surprisingly specific roles in the GSC and follicle stem cell (FSC) lineages, and that the steroid ecdysone stimulates GSC responsiveness to niche signals. We hope to identify new dietary systemic mediators and how they regulate stem cells, and to investigate the inputs from different nutrient-sensitive organs, including the adipose tissue, on the response of stem cells to diet.


Daniela Drummond-Barbosa Research Profile

LaFever, L., Drummond-Barbosa, D. Direct control of stem cell division and germ line development by neural insulin in Drosophila. Science 309(5737), 1071-1073, 2005.

Drummond-Barbosa, D. Regulation of stem cell populations. In: Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine, Meyers, R. A. ed., v 12, 2005.

Hsu, H.-J., LaFever, L., Drummond-Barbosa, D. Diet controls normal and tumorous germline stem cells via insulin-dependent and -independent mechanisms inDrosophila. Dev. Biol. 313(2), 700-712, 2008. This paper was featured in Faculty of 1000 Biology as “Must Read” (

Von Stetina, J. R., Tranguch, S., Dey, S. K., Lee, L. A., Cha, B., Drummond-Barbosa, D. α-Endosulfine is a conserved protein required for oocyte meiotic maturation in Drosophila. Development 135(22), 3697-3706, 2008.

Drummond-Barbosa, D. Stem cells, their niches and the systemic environment: an aging network. Genetics 180(4), 1787-1797, 2008 (invited, peer-reviewed review article).

Hsu, H.-J., Drummond-Barbosa, D. Insulin levels control female germline stem cell maintenance via the niche in Drosophila. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 106(4), 1117-1121, 2009. This paper was highlighted in Nature Reports Stem Cells( and also featured in Faculty of 1000 Biology (

LaFever, L., Feoktistov, A., Hsu, H.-J., Drummond-Barbosa, D. Specific roles of Target of rapamycin in the control of stem cells and their progeny in the Drosophilaovary. Development 137:2117-2126, 2010. (This paper was featured in the “In this issue” section.)

Ables, E. T., Drummond-Barbosa, D. A steroid hormone functions with chromatin remodeling factors to control germline stem cells in Drosophila. Cell Stem Cell7:581-592, 2010.

Hsu, H.-J., Drummond-Barbosa, D. Insulin signals control the competence of theDrosophila female germline stem cell niche to respond to Notch ligands. Dev. Biol.350:290-300, 2011.

Zou, S., Chang, J., LaFever, L., Tang, W., Johnson, E. L., Hu, J., Wilk, R., Krause, H. M., Drummond-Barbosa, D., Irusta, P. M. Identification of dAven, a Drosophila melanogaster ortholog of the cell cycle regulator Aven. Cell Cycle 10(6):1-10, 2011.

Ables, E. T., Drummond-Barbosa, D. Food for thought: neural stem cells on a diet.Cell Stem Cell 8:352-354, 2011 (invited, Preview article).

Von Stetina, J. R., LaFever, K. S., Rubin, M., Drummond-Barbosa, D. A genetic screen for dominant enhancers of the cell cycle regulator α-Endosulfine identifies matrimony as a strong functional interactor in Drosophila. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics 1:607-613, 2011.

Ables, E. T., Laws, K., Drummond-Barbosa, D. Control of adult stem cells in vivo by a dynamic physiological environment: diet-dependent systemic factors inDrosophila and beyond. WIREs Dev. Biol. Doi:10.1002/wdev.48, 2012 (invited, peer-reviewed review).

Kim, M.-Y.*, Bucciarelli, E.*, Morton, D. G., Williams, B. C., Blake-Hodek, K., Pellicani, C., Von Stetina, J. R., Hu, X., Somma, M. P., Drummond-Barbosa, D.**, Goldberg, M. L.** Bypassing the Greatwall-Endosulfine pathway: plasticity of a pivotal cell cycle regulatory module in Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans. Genetics 191(4):1181-1197, 2012. *Co-first authors; **Co-corresponding/ senior authors.