GILLIAN MARIE STANFIELD portrait
  • Associate Professor, Human Genetics
801-585-9944

Research Statement

The Stanfield Lab studies cell motility, a process critical for development and wound healing that must be tightly regulated to prevent birth defects, the spread of cancer cells, and other adverse effects. Using genetic screens, we are identifying molecular pathways that regulate the ability of cells to migrate. We have found that motility is regulated in part by the opposing activities of a protease and protease inhibitor, suggesting a signaling role for proteolysis activity in this and other cell types. We are currently investigating how cells interpret such signals and respond with morphological rearrangements that allow them to migrate. In another line of research, we are studying competition between cells to migrate into and occupy a target tissue ("niche"). We are using in vivo observations of migrating cells to understand cellular behaviors that allow cells to outcompete other cells. We are also studying extrinsic signals that affect competition. All our studies utilize the powerful genetic, cell biological, and imaging tools available in the nematode C. elegans, focusing on sperm cells as our model cell type; since nematode spermatozoa lack flagella and instead migrate by crawling, they are analogous to many migratory cell types beyond the reproductive system.

Presentations

  • Invited seminar, University of California, Davis. , , 2018.
  • Invited seminar, Texas A&M University, "Cell Signaling and the Battle for Reproductive Success in C. elegans". , , 2016.
  • Invited seminar, Florida State University School of Medicine, "Cell Signaling and the Battle for Reproductive Success in C. elegans". , , 2015.
  • Invited seminar, New York University, "Cell Signaling and the Battle for Reproductive Success in C. elegans". , , 2015.
  • Invited seminar, Rutgers University: "Cell Signaling and the Battle for Reproductive Success in C. elegans". , , 2015.
  • Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Retreat: "Who's Your Daddy? Sperm Competition in C. elegans". , , 2014.
  • Bioscience Symposium: "Sperm competition in C. elegans: a battle between the sexes". , , 2013.
  • Human Genetics Department Faculty Research in Progress: "Role of the SLC6 family protein SNF-10 in sperm activation". , , 2013.
  • Membranes Interest Group: "How to Get Your Membranes Moving: Sperm Activation in C. elegans". , , 2012.
  • Invited seminar, University of Michigan: "Regulation of Cellular Motility in C. elegans Sperm". , , 2011.
  • Genetics Interest Group: "Nuclear Neighborhoods: Form vs. Function". , , 2008.
  • Neurobiology & Anatomy Faculty Research Series: "Activation of Cellular Motility in C. elegans". , , 2008.
  • Biology Undergraduate Research Program: "Male reproduction in C. elegans". , , 2007.
  • Human Genetics Department Retreat: "Regulation of Sperm Differentiation in C. elegans Males". , , 2007.
  • Worms In Progress (WIPS): "Worms Insist on Paternal Sperm!". , , 2007.
  • Cancer & Cell Biology Journal Club: "Male fertility and the regulation of sperm differentiation in C. elegans". , , 2007.
  • Human Genetics Department Faculty Research in Progress: "Protease regulation of cellular motility". , , 2006.
  • Session Chair, Gordon Research Conference on Fertilization and the Activation of Development, Holderness, NH (July 2019). , , 2019.
  • Research Talk, Gordon Research Conference on Fertilization and the Activation of Development, "Sperm and the Female Reproductive Tract Communicate to Influence Sperm Competition and Cryptic Female Choice in C. elegans", Holderness, NH. , , 2015.
  • Research Talk, Gordon Research Conference on Fertilization and the Activation of Development, "Modulating sperm motility to ensure reproductive success: strategies in C. elegans males", Holderness, NH. , , 2011.
  • Invited Session Introduction, Gordon Research Conference on Fertilization and the Activation of Development, "Impacts of the reproductive tract environments on the gametes, Part II: post-copulatory sperm competition", Holderness, NH. , , 2011.
  • Talk, "Sperm motility and reproductive success of C. elegans males", C. elegans Neurobiology & Biology of the C. elegans Male, Madison, WI. , , 2010.
  • Invited talk, "Regulation of Sperm Motility in C. elegans", 42nd Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Pittsburgh, PA. , , 2009.
  • Talk, "Regulation of sperm activation in C. elegans males", 16th International C. elegans Meeting, Los Angeles, CA. , , 2007.
  • Chavez DR*, Stanfield GM. Signaling sperm to stop or go: the seminal fluid protease inhibitor SWM-1 regulates C. elegans sperm motility (Selected talk). Poster session presented at The Allied Genetics Conference, Orlando, FL. Poster, Presented, 2016.
  • Fenker KE*, Stanfield GM. The t-SNARE syx-7 promotes cytokinesis during sperm meiosis (Selected talk). Poster session presented at The Allied Genetics Conference 2016, Orlando, FL. Poster, Presented, 2016.
  • Chavez DR*, Stanfield GM. Regulation of C. elegans Sperm Motility by Protease Signaling (Selected talk; received Graduate Student Oral Presentation Award, Cell/Molecular Biology). Poster session presented at National SACNAS Conference 2015, Washington, DC. Poster, Presented, 2015.
  • Chavez DR*. "Low-cost Worm Microscopy for the Teaching Classroom" (Workshop presentation). Poster session presented at 20th International C. elegans Meeting, Los Angeles, CA. Poster, Presented, 2015.
  • Fenker KE*, Stanfield GM. SNF-10, a Solute Carrier 6 carrier family protein, connects male-derived protease signals to the onset of sperm motility (Poster). Poster session presented at 20th International C. elegans Meeting, Los Angeles, CA. Poster, Presented, 2015.
  • Driscoll K, Stanfield GM, Droste R, Horvitz HR. The Putative TRP Channel CED-11 Functions to Increase Nuclear Membrane Permeability in C. elegans Apoptosis (Selected talk). Poster session presented at 20th International C. elegans Meeting, Los Angeles, CA. Poster, Presented, 2015.
  • Chavez DR*, Stanfield GM. Regulation of C. elegans Sperm Motility by Protease Signaling (Poster). Poster session presented at 20th International C. elegans Meeting, Los Angeles, CA. Poster, Presented, 2015.
  • Shimko T*, Chavez DR*, Stanfield GM. Identification of regulators of sperm motility in C. elegans males (Poster). Poster session presented at 20th International C. elegans Meeting, Los Angeles, CA. Poster, Presented, 2015.
  • Chavez DR*, Shimko T*, Stanfield GM. Regulation of C. elegans Sperm Motility by Protease Signaling (Poster). Poster session presented at SACNAS National Conference 2014, Los Angeles, CA. Poster, Presented, 2014.
  • Hansen JM*, Stanfield GM. Size, speed, signals, and sex: sperm competition in Caenorhabditis elegans (Selected talk). Poster session presented at Evolutionary Biology of C. elegans and Other Nematodes, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK. Poster, Presented, 2014.
  • Hansen JM*, Stanfield GM. Sperm Competition and Cryptic Hermaphrodite Choice Influence Sperm Usage in Caenorhabditis elegans (Selected talk). Poster session presented at Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution Annual Meeting (SMBE 2014), San Juan, Puerto Rico. Poster, Presented, 2014.
  • Hansen JM*, Chavez DR*, Stanfield GM. Mechanisms of Sperm Competition in C. elegans (Poster). Poster session presented at 19th International C. elegans Meeting, Los Angeles, CA. Poster, Presented, 2013.
  • Chavez DR*, Smith Ptolemy JR*, Snow AK, Stanfield GM. Timing is Everything: Sperm Activation in C. elegans (Poster). Poster session presented at 19th International C. elegans Meeting, Los Angeles, CA. Poster, Presented, 2013.
  • Driscoll KB, Stanfield GM, Horvitz HR. ced-11 is Required for the Morphological Appearance of Cell Corpses (Poster). Poster session presented at 19th International C. elegans Meeting, Los Angeles, CA. Poster, Presented, 2013.
  • Fenker KE*, Hansen AA, Chong CA*, Jud MC*, Stanfield GM. The role of an SLC6 family transporter in C. elegans sperm activation (Selected talk). Poster session presented at 19th International C. elegans Meeting, Los Angeles, CA. Poster, Presented, 2013.
  • Fenker KE*, Hansen AA, Chong CA*, Jud MC*, Stanfield GM. SNF-10, an SLC6 transporter required for sperm activation by C. elegans males (Poster). Poster session presented at C. elegans Development, Cell Biology, and Gene Expression Meeting, Madison, WI. Poster, Presented, 2012.
  • Hansen JM*, Chavez DR*, Stanfield GM. Sperm Vs Sperm: Determining the Cellular Basis of Sperm Competition (Poster). Poster session presented at C. elegans Development, Cell Biology, and Gene Expression Meeting, Madison, WI. Poster, Presented, 2012.
  • Smith JR*, Stanfield GM. The sperm activation protease TRY-5 is transferred to hermaphrodites during mating (Selected talk). Poster session presented at 18th International C. elegans Meeting, Los Angeles, CA. Poster, Presented, 2011.
  • Chavez DR*, Stanfield GM. A sperm competition mutant with defects in cell motility. Poster session presented at 18th International C. elegans Meeting, Los Angeles, CA. Poster, Presented, 2011.
  • Smith JR*, Stanfield GM. Regulation of C. elegans sperm motility by extracellular protease signaling. Poster session presented at 69th Meeting of the Society for Developmental Biology, Albuquerque, NM. Poster, Presented, 2010.
  • Mulia AK*, Zhong C*, Stanfield GM. Sperm Motility: To Swm or not to Swm? (Poster). Poster session presented at 2010 C. elegans Development and Gene Expression Meeting, Heidelberg, Germany. Poster, Presented, 2010.
  • Smith JR*, Kimball SK, Stanfield GM. Proteolysis Regulation of Sperm Activation in C. elegans (Poster). Poster session presented at Gordon Conference on Fertilization and the Activation of Development, Holderness, NH. Poster, Presented, 2009.
  • Smith JR*, Kimball SK, Stanfield GM. Regulation of C. elegans Spermiogenesis by Proteolysis Signaling (Poster). Poster session presented at CSHL Conference on Germ Cells, Cold Spring Harbor, NY. Poster, Presented, 2008.
  • Smith JR*, Kimball SK, Stanfield GM. Characterization of the Role of the Serine Protease try-5 in Sperm Activation (Poster). Poster session presented at C. elegans Development and Evolution Meeting, Madison, WI. Poster, Presented, 2008.
  • Stanfield GM. Sperm activation in C. elegans males: crawling downstream from swm-1 (Poster). Poster session presented at C. elegans Development & Evolution Meeting, Madison, WI. Poster, Presented, 2006.

Languages

  • English, Fluent.