Biological Sciences

Chris J. Cretekos, Ph.D.

Chris J. Cretekos

Assistant Professor


Biographical Sketch

Dr. Chris Cretekos is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Idaho State University. He joined the faculty at ISU in 2007 following 5 years of postdoctoral research and 3 years as research faculty in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He is a member of the Scientific Research Society (Sigma Xi), the Society for Developmental Biology (SDB) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

How do the highly conserved genes and genetic pathways governing embryo patterning and organ morphogenesis program divergent morphology between species? Our research focuses on the molecular and cellular mechanisms that lead to the formation of the mammalian body plan, the morphogenesis of tissues and organs during embryo development and the genetic mechanisms responsible for organ morphology and physiology differences that have evolved between species. We utilize genetic, embryological, and comparative approaches.

We are investigating developmental processes in divergent mammalian systems, including rodents and chiropterans (bats). Embryogenesis and reproduction are very diverse between species and comparisons provide novel insights for reproduction, embryonic development, and organogenesis. We have collaborated with John Rasweiler (SUNY Downstate) to establish the molecular embryology of the short-tailed fruit bat, Carollia perspicillata, and in collaboration with Richard Behringer (UT M.D.Anderson Cancer Center), we are transferring bat genes into mice for functional studies of limb and craniofacial development. Our bat studies are supported by field collections on the island of Trinidad, West Indies.


Selected Publications

Hockman D., Cretekos C.J., Mason M.K., Behringer R.R., Jacobs D.S. and Illing N. A second wave of Sonic Hedgehog expression during the development of the unique bat limb. In Press, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, USA.

Nolte M., Hockman D., Cretekos C.J., Behringer R.R. and Rasweiler J.J. IV. Embryonic development of the black mastiff bat, Molossus ater (Molossidae). In Press, Anatomical Record.

Rasweiler J.J. IV, Cretekos C.J., and Behringer R.R. The Short-tailed Fruit Bat Carollia perspicillata, in Emerging Model Organisms: A Laboratory Manual, Volume 1: Book chapter In Press by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press (due November 2008).

Cretekos C.J., Wang Y, Green E.D., NISC Comparative Sequencing Program, Martin J.F., Rasweiler J.J. IV, and Behringer R.R. (2008) Regulatory divergence modifies limb length between mammals. Genes & Development 22: 141-151.

Komar C.M., Zacharachis-Jutz F., Cretekos C.J., Behringer R.R., and Rasweiler J.J. IV. (2007) Highly Polarized Ovaries of the Long-Tongued Bat, Glossophaga soricina - A Novel Model for Studying Ovarian Development. Anatomical Record 290(11):1439-48.

Cretekos C.J., Deng J.M., Green E.D., NISC Comparative Sequencing Program, Rasweiler J.J. IV, and Behringer R.R. (2007) Isolation, genomic structure and developmental expression of Fgf8 in the short-tailed fruit bat, Carollia perspicillata. International Journal of Developmental Biology 51: 333-338.

Cretekos C.J., Weatherbee S.D., Chen C-H, Badwaik N.K., Niswander L, Behringer R.R., and Rasweiler J.J. IV. (2005) Embryonic Staging System for the Short-Tailed Fruit Bat, Carollia perspicillata, a Model Organism for the Mammalian Order Chiroptera, Based Upon Timed Pregnancies in Captive-Bred Animals. Developmental Dynamics 233:721-738 (Cover Article).

Chen C-H, Cretekos C.J., Rasweiler J.J. IV, and Behringer R.R. (2005). Isolation and expression of Hoxd13 in the short-tailed fruit bat, Carollia perspicillata. Evolution and Development 7(2):130-141 (Cover Article).

Cretekos C.J., Rasweiler J. J. IV, and Behringer R. R. (2001). Comparative studies on limb morphogenesis in mice and bats: A functional genetic approach towards a molecular understanding of diversity in organ formation. Reproduction, Fertility & Development 13: 691-695.


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