Dr. David Merz
Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics

Dr. David Merz did his BSc(Hons) degree in the Biology Department of McGill University, graduating in 1989. His PhD was also in the Biology Department of McGill University, graduating in 1994 (supervisor Dr. Pierre Drapeau). The subject of his thesis was synapse formation between neurons. Postdoctoral training was done at the University of Toronto, supervised by Dr. Joseph Culotti at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital. There he began using C. elegans as a model system to study cell and growth cone migrations during development. Dr. Merz has been at the University of Manitoba since 2001.


Getting Directtions: Cell Migrations During Development

The aim of Dr. Merz's research is to understand how a migrating cell migrates to its correct target at the correct time during development. His lab uses C. elegans as a research model because it allows them to use classical and molecular genetic techniques to identify genes and genetic interactions critical for appropriate cell migrations.  Figure

Adlimoghaddam A,  O’Donnell MJ, Kormish J, Banh S, Treberg JR, Merz D and Weihrauch D. Ammonia excretion in Caenorhabditis elegans: Physiological and molecular characterization of the rhr-2 knock-out mutant. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology: part A. Accepted

Chatel A , Hemming R , Hobert J , Natowicz MR , Triggs-Raine B , Merz DCThe C. elegans hyaluronidase: a developmentally significant enzyme with chondroitin-degrading activity at both acidic and neutral pH. Matrix biology: journal of the International Society for Matrix Biology, 29(6) PubMed ID: 20576486

Schwabiuk M , Coudiere L , Merz DC. SDN-1/syndecan regulates growth factor signaling in distal tip cell migrations in C. elegans. Developmental biology, 334(1) PubMed ID: 19631636

Merz DC , Alves G , Kawano T , Zheng H , Culotti JG. UNC-52/perlecan affects gonadal leader cell migrations in C. elegans hermaphrodites through alterations in growth factor signaling. Developmental biology, 256(1) PubMed ID: 12654300

Merz DC , Zheng H , Killeen MT , Krizus A , Culotti JG. Multiple signaling mechanisms of the UNC-6/netrin receptors UNC-5 and UNC-40/DCC in vivo. Genetics, 158(3) PubMed ID: 11454756

Research Publications: PubMed

Discovery Grant ($26,000 / annum)

Dr. David Merz, PhD
Area of Research: Genetic Basis of Development and Disease

University of Manitoba
324-745 Bannatyne Avenue, BMSB
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0J9
Tel:   204.975.7761
Fax:  204.789.3900
Lab:  204.977.5685