Jones, Bradley W.

Research Interests

  • Molecular genetic mechanisms of nervous system development in Drosophila

We are interested in the development of the nervous system. A functional nervous system requires the correct specification and precise organization of a large number of neural cell types. These cell types include the neurons that transmit information and their glial support cells. Drosophila has proven to be an excellent model system for the study of mechanisms underlying neural development. In addition to its sophisticated classical and molecular genetic tools, much is known about the lineages, patterns, and identities of glia and neurons, and about the projections and pathways taken by axons in the developing CNS and PNS. Neurons and glia are arranged in a stereotypical pattern repeated in each segment. They are easily identified by position, and by a large array of markers. We take advantage of these features, using genetic and molecular approaches to uncover processes controlling neural cell fate specification and differentiation in Drosophila.

Fruit Fly
Ventral views of Drosophila embryos several hours before hatching. Anterior is at the top.
A) The nerve tracks of the central nervous system are labeled with an antibody that recognizes an epitope in the axons of interneurons (brown).
B) The nuclei of glial cells are labeled by an antibody against Repo protein (black), a transcription factor required for the proper differentiation of glia.



B.A., Hamilton College, Clinton, NY. 1985 Major: Biology.

Research Technician, The National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD. 1986 Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, NINCDS. Dr. Robert Lazzarini, Supervisor. Expression patterns of mouse Hox genes.

Ph.D., Yale University, New Haven, CT. 1993 Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. Dr. William McGinnis, Advisor. Drosophila homeobox genes.


Members of the Jones Lab


Useful Links



Publications (Where available, click link)

Johnson, R.W., Wood, J.L. and Jones, B.W., 2012.
Characterization of cis-regulatory elements controlling repo transcription in Drosophila melanogaster.
Gene 492, 167-176

Lee, B.P. and Jones, B.W.2005.
Transcriptional regulation of the Drosophila glial gene repo.
Mechanisms of Development, 122, 849-862.

Jones, B.W.2005.
Transcriptional control of glial cell development in Drosophila.
Developmental Biology 278, 265-273.

Jones, B.W., Abeysekera, M., Galinska, J., and Jolicoeur, E.M.2004.
Transcriptional control of glial and blood cell development in Drosophila: cis-regulatory elements of glial cells missing.
Developmental Biology 266, 374-387.

Alfonso, T.B. and Jones, B.W.2002.
gcm2 promotes glial cell differentiation and is required with glial cells missing for macrophage development in Drosophila.
Developmental Biology 248, 369-383.

Jones, B.W.2001.
Glial cell development in the Drosophila embryo.
BioEssays 23 (10), 877-887.

Kim,J. *, Jones, B.W. *, Zock, C., Chen, Z., Wang, H., Goodman, C.S., and Anderson, D.J.1998.
Isolation and characterization of mammalian homologs of the Drosophila gene, glial cells missing.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 95, 12364-12369.
*These authors contributed equally to this work.

Jones, B.W., Fetter, R., Tear, G., and Goodman, C.S.1995.
glial cells missing: a genetic switch that controls glial versus neuronal fate.
Cell 82: 1013-1023.

Jones, B. and McGinnis, W.1993
A new Drosophila homeobox gene, bsh, is expressed in a subset of brain cells during embryogenesis.
Development 117: 793-806.

Jones, B. and McGinnis, W.1993
The regulation of empty spiracles by Abdominal-B mediates an abdominal segment identity function.
Genes and Development 7: 229-240.

Chadwick, R., Jones, B., Jack, T., and McGinnis W.1990
Ectopic expression from the Deformed gene triggers a dominant defect in Drosophila adult head development.
Developmental Biology 141, 130-140.[abstract]