Research Summary

The goals of my research build directly on research that I began as a postdoctoral fellow in Allan Spradling’s lab at the Carnegie Institution, and have continued in my own lab over the past six years. More generally, my education and training have given me valuable skills for succeeding in basic science. As a graduate student with Mark Roth at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, I learned to identify and develop concepts that were both innovative and medically relevant. Early in my graduate studies, we discovered suspended animation in C. elegans (Nystul, et al., Science, 2003), and my characterization of this phenomenon was a critical part of a team effort that led to several patents and the founding of Ikaria, Inc., a multi-national biomedical research company. Subsequently, as a postdoctoral fellow at the Carnegie Institution, I gained a better understanding of the importance of thinking broadly and studying multiple model organisms in developing productive research projects. I have been implementing these skills as I mentor the people in my lab and build our research program. At UCSF, I have the benefit of a rigorous, collegial scientific community, and a commitment of support from colleagues, such as my faculty mentors Drs. Zena Werb, Susan Fisher, and Diane Barber.

Research Funding

  • July 1, 2020 - May 31, 2025 - Cell Fate Decisions in Epithelial Stem Cell Lineages, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NIGMS, Sponsor Award ID: R35GM136348
  • July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2019 - Regulation of Epithelial Plasticity, Co-Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NIGMS, Sponsor Award ID: R01GM116384
  • July 1, 2011 - March 31, 2016 - Modeling epithelial stem cell competition in a dynamic drosophila ovarian niche, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NIGMS, Sponsor Award ID: R01GM097158
  • March 1, 2012 - February 28, 2014 - Models for studying of the role of stem cell competition in field cancerization, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: R21CA164404


University of California, San Diego—La Jolla, CA, B.S., 1993-1997, Molecular Biology
University of Washington—Seattle, WA, Ph.D., 1999-2004, Molecular and Cellular Biology
Carnegie Institution of Science—Baltimore, MD, Postdoctoral, 2004-2009, Stem Cell Biology and Developmental Genetics

Honors & Awards

  • 1999
    Honorable Mention, National Science Foundation Fellowship
  • 2000
    Training Grant (competitive slot), Molecular and Cellular Biology Program, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  • 2005
    Life Sciences Research Foundation, HHMI Postdoctoral Scholar
  • 2007
    Keystone Symposium Scholarship, Keystone, CO

Selected Publications

  1. Rust K, Byrnes LE, Yu KS, Park JS, Sneddon JB, Tward AD, Nystul TG. A single-cell atlas and lineage analysis of the adult Drosophila ovary. Nat Commun. 2020 11 06; 11(1):5628.  View on PubMed
  2. Rust K, Nystul T. Signal transduction in the early Drosophila follicle stem cell lineage. Curr Opin Insect Sci. 2020 02; 37:39-48.  View on PubMed
  3. Fadiga J, Nystul TG. The follicle epithelium in the Drosophila ovary is maintained by a small number of stem cells. Elife. 2019 12 18; 8.  View on PubMed
  4. Benitez M, Tatapudy S, Liu Y, Barber DL, Nystul TG. Drosophila anion exchanger 2 is required for proper ovary development and oogenesis. Dev Biol. 2019 08 15; 452(2):127-133.  View on PubMed
  5. Kim-Yip RP, Nystul TG. Wingless promotes EGFR signaling in follicle stem cells to maintain self-renewal. Development. 2018 12 05; 145(23).  View on PubMed
  6. Tatapudy S, Aloisio F, Barber D, Nystul T. Cell fate decisions: emerging roles for metabolic signals and cell morphology. EMBO Rep. 2017 12; 18(12):2105-2118.  View on PubMed
  7. Tatapudy S, Benitez M, Nystul T. Methods for Imaging Intracellular pH of the Follicle Stem Cell Lineage in Live Drosophila Ovarian Tissue. J Vis Exp. 2017 09 26; (127).  View on PubMed
  8. Cook MS, Cazin C, Amoyel M, Yamamoto S, Bach E, Nystul T. Neutral Competition for Drosophila Follicle and Cyst Stem Cell Niches Requires Vesicle Trafficking Genes. Genetics. 2017 07; 206(3):1417-1428.  View on PubMed
  9. Johnston MJ, Bar-Cohen S, Paroush Z, Nystul TG. Phosphorylated Groucho delays differentiation in the follicle stem cell lineage by providing a molecular memory of EGFR signaling in the niche. Development. 2016 12 15; 143(24):4631-4642.  View on PubMed
  10. Ulmschneider B, Grillo-Hill BK, Benitez M, Azimova DR, Barber DL, Nystul TG. Increased intracellular pH is necessary for adult epithelial and embryonic stem cell differentiation. J Cell Biol. 2016 Nov 07; 215(3):345-355.  View on PubMed
  11. Vlachos S, Jangam S, Conder R, Chou M, Nystul T, Harden N. A Pak-regulated cell intercalation event leading to a novel radial cell polarity is involved in positioning of the follicle stem cell niche in the Drosophila ovary. Development. 2015 Jan 01; 142(1):82-91.  View on PubMed
  12. Castanieto A, Johnston MJ, Nystul TG. EGFR signaling promotes self-renewal through the establishment of cell polarity in Drosophila follicle stem cells. Elife. 2014 Dec 01; 3.  View on PubMed
  13. Huang P, Sahai-Hernandez P, Bohm RA, Welch WP, Zhang B, Nystul T. Enhancer-trap flippase lines for clonal analysis in the Drosophila ovary. G3 (Bethesda). 2014 Jul 14; 4(9):1693-9.  View on PubMed
  14. Kronen MR, Schoenfelder KP, Klein AM, Nystul TG. Basolateral junction proteins regulate competition for the follicle stem cell niche in the Drosophila ovary. PLoS One. 2014; 9(7):e101085.  View on PubMed
  15. Sahai-Hernandez P, Nystul TG. A dynamic population of stromal cells contributes to the follicle stem cell niche in the Drosophila ovary. Development. 2013 Nov; 140(22):4490-8.  View on PubMed
  16. Yassi Hafezi, Todd G Nystul. Advanced Techniques for Cell Lineage Labelling in Drosophila. eLS. 2012 Mar 15.  View on PubMed
  17. Sahai-Hernandez P, Castanieto A, Nystul TG. Drosophila models of epithelial stem cells and their niches. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Dev Biol. 2012 May-Jun; 1(3):447-57.  View on PubMed
  18. Nystul T, Spradling A. Regulation of epithelial stem cell replacement and follicle formation in the Drosophila ovary. Genetics. 2010 Feb; 184(2):503-15.  View on PubMed
  19. Spradling AC, Nystul T, Lighthouse D, Morris L, Fox D, Cox R, Tootle T, Frederick R, Skora A. Stem cells and their niches: integrated units that maintain Drosophila tissues. Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. 2008; 73:49-57.  View on PubMed
  20. Nystul T, Spradling A. An epithelial niche in the Drosophila ovary undergoes long-range stem cell replacement. Cell Stem Cell. 2007 Sep 13; 1(3):277-85.  View on PubMed

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