Welcome to the Shubin Lab
What do fossil expeditions to Earth’s polar regions have in common with analyses of transcriptomes, gene regulation function and developmental biology? Together, these approaches can tell us about the great transitions in vertebrate evolution. Recent efforts of the lab have looked at fin development and regeneration, the transformation of fins into limbs, the origin of terrestrial feeding, the origin of vertebrate appendages, and the biology of frog metamorphosis.
Current fieldwork takes us to the Devonian rocks of Ellesmere Island in the High Arctic of Canada as well as the Transantarctic Mountains of Antarctica in search of the earliest creatures to walk on land as well as their relatives. Using high resolution CT scanning, the lab explores the structure and kinematics of the skeleton and its functional evolution during the Late Devonian.
Deploying a range of molecular approaches to assess gene expression, cell lineage, gene regulation, chromatin dynamics, and gene function, the lab explores the development of the vertebrate skeleton.
Meet Qikiqtania, a fossil fish with the good sense to stay in the water while others ventured onto land
Our research team has discovered a close relative of Tiktaalik, the four-legged "fishapod" that journeyed from water to land 375 million years ago. Unlike Tiktaalik, “Qikiqtania wakei” opted for life underwater. Read the full Nature research article here, or you can...
Neil Shubin and Yamuna Krishnan were awarded prestigious research grants from the International Human Frontier Science Program Organization
Two University of Chicago scientists received grants from the International Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSP). Neil Shubin, PhD, Robert R. Bensley Distinguished Service Professor of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, and Yamuna Krishnan, PhD, Professor...
New paper by Dr. Joaquín Letelier et al. on Shh/Gli3 gene regulatory networks and paired fins is out now.
In this study, Letelier et al. show that the inactivation of the gli3 gene in medaka fish results in the formation of larger dorsal and paired fins.
Stewart, Thomas A., Justin B. Lemberg, Ailis Daly, Edward B. Daeschler, and Neil H. Shubin. “A new elpistostegalian from the Late Devonian of the Canadian Arctic.” Nature 608, no. 7923 (2022): 563-568.
Letelier J, Naranjo S, Sospedra I, Lopez-Rios J, Martinez-Morales JR, Shubin N, Gomez-Skarmeta JL. The Shh/Gli3 gene regulatory network precedes the origin of paired fins and reveals the deep homology between distal fins and digits. PNAS. 2021 Nov 16; 118 (46) e2100575118.
Mika K, Okamoto AS, Shubin NH, Mark Welch DB. Bacterial community dynamics during embryonic development of the little skate (Leucoraja erinacea). Animal microbiome. 2021 Dec;3(1):1-4.
Nakamura T, Schneider I, Shubin NH. Evolution: The deep genetic roots of tetrapod-specific traits. Current Biology. 2021 May 24;31(10):R467-9.
Ali S, Arif I, Iqbal A, Hussain I, Abrar M, Khan MR, Shubin N, Abbasi AA. Comparative genomic analysis of human GLI2 locus using slowly evolving fish revealed the ancestral gnathostome set of early developmental enhancers. Developmental Dynamics. 2021 May;250(5):669-83.
Lemberg JB, Daeschler EB, Shubin NH. The feeding system of Tiktaalik roseae: an intermediate between suction feeding and biting. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Feb 16;118(7):e2016421118. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2016421118. PMID: 33526593; PMCID: PMC7896305.
Verissimo KM, Perez LN, Dragalzew AC, Senevirathne G, Darnet S, Barroso Mendes WR, Ariel dos Santos Neves C, Monteiro dos Santos E, Nazare de Sousa Moraes C, Elewa A, Shubin N, Fröbisch NB, de Freitas Sousa J, Schneider I. Salamander-like tail regeneration in the West African lungfish. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 2020 Sep 30;287(1935):20192939.
Senevirathne G, Baumgart S, Shubin N, Hanken J, Shubin NH. Ontogeny of the anuran urostyle and the developmental context of evolutionary novelty. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Feb 11;117(6):3034-3044. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1917506117. Epub 2020 Jan 27. PMID: 31988131; PMCID: PMC7022158.
Stewart TA, Lemberg JB, Taft NK, Yoo I, Daeschler EB, Shubin NH. Fin ray patterns at the fin-to-limb transition. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Jan 21;117(3):1612-1620. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1915983117. Epub 2019 Dec 30. PMID: 31888998; PMCID: PMC6983361.
Turner N, Mikalauskaite D, Barone K, Flaherty K, Senevirathne G, Adachi N, Shubin NH, Nakamura T. The evolutionary origins and diversity of the neuromuscular system of paired appendages in batoids. Proc Biol Sci. 2019 Nov 6;286(1914):20191571. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2019.1571. Epub 2019 Oct 30. PMID: 31662089; PMCID: PMC6842844.
Lemberg JB, Shubin NH, Westneat MW. Feeding kinematics and morphology of the alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula, Lacépède, 1803). J Morphol. 2019 Oct;280(10):1548-1570. doi: 10.1002/jmor.21048. Epub 2019 Aug 6. PMID: 31385619.