Ruth Lehmann

Director, Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine; Director Kimmel Center for Stem Cell Biology. Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Professor of Cell Biology; Department of Cell Biology. HHMI Investigator.

Ph.D., 1985 University of Tubingen

Lehmann Lab
cell migration, Germ Line Stem Cells, Primordial Germ Cells, Genome Integrity, RNA Regulation, RNA granules

Contact Information

Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine
540 First Avenue 4th floor, Lab 10-13
New York, N.Y. 10016
Office Tel: (212) 263-8071
Lab Tel: (212) 263-6297
Fax: (212) 263-7760

Admin Contact

Nancy Rodriguez
Tel: (212) 263-2989

Germline Development in Drosophila

Germline Development in DrosophilaGerm cells are the stem cells for the next generation. Set-aside during embryogenesis from the somatic cells that form the body of the organism, germ cells, through the fusion of sperm and egg, generate a new organism. Research in our lab focuses on the biology of germ cells in Drosophila. Despite their critical role, we still know little about how germ cell fate is initiated and maintained and how germ cells evade the ultimately deadly fate of the soma. In contrast to somatic cell fates, no master-regulator transcription factor has been identified that uniquely specifies germ cell fate; instead RNA regulation plays a prominent and highly conserved role in germ cells. As germ cells “make” germ cells, the work in our lab follows the germ line life cycle: We are interested in how complex interactions between RNAs and their binding proteins in form of RNA granules specify germ cell fate in the early embryo, how germ cells migrate through the embryo to reach the somatic gonad and how germ cell fate is maintained and protected throughout larval and adult life in order to generate a new organism. Because of their unique ability to literally renew themselves, our research takes advantage of the opportunities germ cell biology poses to understand the cellular mechanisms of totipotency and the challenges associated with immortality.

Selected Publications: 
  • Seifert JRK and Lehmann R. (2012) Drosophila primordial germ cell migration requires epithelial remodeling of the endoderm. Development Jun;139(12):2101-6. PMID: 22619387
  • RaCinalli RM and Lehmann R. (2013) A spindle-independent cleavage pathway controls germ cell formation in Drosophila. Nat Cell Biol. 2013 Jun 2. PMID: 23728423
  • Teixeira FK, Sanchez CG, Hurd TR, Seifert JRK, Czech B, Preall JB, Hannon GJ, and Lehmann R. (2015) ATP synthase promotes germ cell differentiation independent of oxidative phosphorylation. Nature Cell Biology 7(5):689-96. PMID: 25915123
  • Trcek T, Grosch M, York A, Shroff H, Lionnet T, and Lehmann R (2015) Drosophila germ granules are structured and contain homotypic mRNA clusters. Nature Communications Aug 5;6:7962. doi: 10.1038/ncomms 8962. PMID: 26242323
  • Sanchez CG, Teixeira FK, Czech B, Preall JB, Zamparini AL, Seifert JRK, Malone CD, Hannon GJ, and Lehmann R. (2015) Regulation of ribosome biogenesis and protein synthesis controls germline stem cell differentiation. Cell Stem Cells  (online Dec 3)

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