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John S. Poulton, PhD

Assistant Professor, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension

Education and Experience

PhD: Florida State University, 2009; Postdoctoral Fellow: University of North Carolina, 2009-2016; Assistant Professor: University of North Carolina, 2016-present.

Research Interests

John Poulton’s research seeks to identify and characterize genes involved in normal kidney development, particularly those that, when mutated, either directly cause or predispose individuals to kidney disease. Dr. Poulton’s research program leverages the powerful genetic tools available in model organisms to study genes important for kidney function. His primary focus are genes that encode the numerous actin regulators and cell-cell junctional proteins present in podocytes, particularly those affecting slit diaphragm function. To understand the underlying cellular defects leading to kidney disease, we need to define the mechanism of action of these proteins, and how they work together or antagonistically in the cell. We also need to identify partner proteins with which they interact to perform their cellular function. Answering these questions can help us understand the etiology of the relevant diseases and identify new therapeutic targets.

Selected Publications

Poulton JS, Cuningham J, Peifer M. (2017) Centrosome and Spindle Assembly Checkpoint loss leads to neural apoptosis and reduced brain size. Journal of Cell Biology. May 1;216(5):1255-65

Lerit DA and Poulton JS. (2016) Centrosomes are multifunctional regulators of genome stability. Chromosome Research. Jan;24(1):5-17

Lerit DA, Jordan HA, Poulton JS, Fagerstrom CJ, Galletta BJ, Peifer M, Rusan NM. 2015. Interphase centrosome organization by the PLP-Cnn scaffold is required for centrosome function. Journal of Cell Biology. Jul 6;210(1):79-97

Poulton JS, Cuningham J, Peifer M. 2014. Acentrosomal Drosophila epithelial cells exhibit abnormal cell division, leading to cell death and compensatory proliferation. Developmental Cell. Sep;30(6):731-45

Poulton JS, Mu FW, Roberts DM, Peifer M. 2013. APC2 and Axin promote mitotic fidelity by facilitating centrosome separation and cytoskeletal regulation. Development. Oct;140(20):4226-4236

Gao L, Shao L, Higgins CD, Poulton JS, Peifer M, Davidson MW, Wu X, Goldstein B, Betzig E. 2012. Noninvasive Imaging of Three-Dimensional Dynamics in Thickly Fluorescent Specimens Beyond the Diffraction Limit. Cell. Dec;151(6):1370-85

Poulton JS, Huang YC, Smith L, Sun J, Leake N, Schleede J, Stevens LM, Deng W-M. 2011. The microRNA pathway regulates the temporal pattern of Notch signaling in Drosophila follicle cells. Development. May;138(9):1737-45

Sagona AP, Nezis IP, Pedersen NM, Liestøl K, Poulton JS, Rusten TE, Skotheim RI, Raiborg C, Stenmark H. 2010. PtdIns(3)P controls cytokinesis through KIF13A-mediated recruitment of FYVE-CENT to the midbody. Nature Cell Biology. Apr;12(4):362-71

Yu J*, Poulton JS*, Huang YC, Deng W-M. 2008. The Hippo pathway promotes Notch signaling in regulation of cell differentiation, proliferation, and oocyte polarity. PLoS One. 3(3):e1761 *co-first

Poulton JS and Deng W-M. 2007. Cell–cell communication and axis specification in the Drosophila oocyte. Developmental Biology. 311(1):1-10

Poulton JS and Deng W-M. 2006. Dystroglycan down-regulation links EGF receptor signaling and anterior-posterior polarity formation in the Drosophila oocyte. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 103(34):12775-12780

  • Phone Number

    (919) 445-2624 (Office Phone)

  • Address

    5009 Burnett-Womack