Alexander M Schreiber
Nothing fascinates me more than the mystery of vertebrate metamorphosis. How does a tadpole turn into a frog? What genes mediate the abrupt transformation of a larval fish or amphibian into its juvenile form? How did metamorphosis evolve? I have studied the biology of vertebrate metamorphosis in fishes and frogs for over 22 years. Metamorphosis is a period during which virtually every organ in the body changes abruptly and dramatically. Metamorphosis in frogs is characterized by three broad categories of development: 1) apoptosis, during which larval-specific structures (e.g. tail, gills) are programmed to die; 2) cell proliferation and differentiation of adult-specific organs (e.g. growth of the limbs); 3) the remodeling of all other organs from larval to adult forms (e.g. the intestine of the herbivorous tadpole remodels to accommodate a carnivorous adult lifestyle). Remarkably, all of these developmental programs are mediated entirely by one molecule: thyroid hormone. As such, amphibian metamorphosis is a naturally-inducible system that is conducive for studying numerous questions relating to the development of virtually any tissue or organ system.
- NIH National Research Service Award, National Institute of General Medical Sciences
- Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Baltimore, MD
- National Science Foundation Summer Research Fellowship, Ocean Research Institute, Tokyo University, Japan
- Board of Editors Member, International Journal of Endocrinology
Examples of my work as a visiting scholar or guest at another institution:
- Endocrinology of amphibian metamorphosis Environmental endocrine disruption
Presentations, Exhibitions, Performances and Published Work:
- Forthcoming: "Textbook of Integrative Endocrinology", by A.M. Schreiber. Publisher: Sinauer Associates
- Schreiber, A.M. (2013) Flatfish: an Asymmetric Perspective on Metamorphosis. Chapter in the book “Animal Metamorphosis” (edited by Yun-Bo Shi), part of the series Current Topics in Developmental Biology, volume 103, pp. 167-194.
- Schreiber, A.M. (2011) Visualizing and quantifying the suppressive effects of glucocorticoids on the tadpole immune system in vivo. American Physiological Society: Advances in Physiology Education. 35, 445-453.
- Schreiber, A.M., Wang X., Tan Y., Sievers, Q., Sievers, B., Lee, M., Burral, K. (2010). Thyroid hormone mediates otolith growth and development during flatfish metamorphosis. General and Comparative Endocrinology. 169, 130-137.
- Schreiber, A.M., and Gimbel, S. (2010). Evolution and the Second Law of Thermodynamics: Effectively Communicating to Non-Technicians. Evolution: Education and Outreach. DOI 10.1007/s12052-009-0195-3
- Schreiber, A.M., Mukhi, S., Brown, D. (2009). Cell-cell interactions during remodeling of the intestine at metamorphosis in Xenopus laevis. Developmental Biology. 331, 89-98.
- Kuan, Y-S, Gamse, J.T., Schreiber, A.M., Halpern, M.E. (2007). Selective asymmetry in a conserved forebrain to midbrain projection. Journal of Experimental Zoology. 308, 669-678.
- Schreiber, A.M. (2006). Asymmetric craniofacial remodeling and lateralized behavior in larval flatfish. Journal of Experimental Biology. 209, 610-621.
- Schreiber, A.M., Cai, L., Brown, D.D. (2005). Remodeling of the intestine during metamorphosis of Xenopus laevis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 102, 3720-3725.
- Brown, D.B., Cai, L., Das, B., Marsh-Armstrong, N., Schreiber, A.M., Juste, R. (2005). Thyroid hormone controls multiple independent programs required for limb development in Xeonpus laevis metamorphosis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences US
- Schreiber, A.M. and Brown, D.D. (2003). Tadpole skin dies autonomously in response to thyroid hormone at metamorphosis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 100, 1769-1774.
- Das, B., Schreiber, A.M., Huang, H., Brown, D.D. (2002). Multiple thyroid hormone-induced muscle growth and death programs during metamorphosis in Xenopus laevis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 99, 12230-12235.
- Schreiber, A.M., Das, B., Huang, H., Marsh-Armstrong, N., Brown, D.D. (2001). Diverse developmental programs of Xenopus laevis metamorphosis are inhibited by a dominant negative thyroid hormone receptor. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA
- Schreiber, A.M. (2001). Metamorphosis and early larval development of flatfishes (Pleuronectiformes): an osmoregulatory perspective. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part B: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 129, 587-595.
- Schreiber, A.M. and Specker, J.L. (2000). Metamorphosis in the summer flounder, Paralichthys dentatus: thyroidal status influences changes in gill mitochondria-rich cells. General and Comparative Endocrinology 117, 238–250.
- Bengtson, D.A., Simlick, T.L., Binette, E.W., Lovett, R.R., Alves, D., Schreiber, A.M., Specker, J.L. (2000). Survival of larval summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus) on formulated diets and failure of thyroid hormone treatment to improve performance. A
- Schreiber, A.M. and Specker, J.L. (1999). Metamorphosis in the summer flounder, Paralichthys dentatus: changes in gill mitochondria-rich cells. Journal of Experimental Biology 202, 2475–2484.
- Schreiber, A.M. and Specker, J.L. (1999) Metamorphosis in the summer flounder, Paralichthys dentatus: thyroidal status influences salinity tolerance. Journal of Experimental Zoology 284, 414–424.
- Schreiber, A.M. and Specker, J.L. (1999). Early larval development and metamorphosis in the summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus): changes in percent whole body water content and effects of altered thyroid status. Journal of Fish Biology 54, 148-157.
- Specker, J.L., Schreiber, A.M., McArdle, M.E., Poholek, A., Henderson, J., Bengtson, D.A. (1999). Metamorphosis in summer flounder: effects of acclimation to low and high salinities. Aquaculture 176, 145-154.
- Schreiber, A.M. and Specker, J.L. (1998). Metamorphosis in the summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus): stage-specific developmental response to altered thyroid status. General and Comparative Endocrinology 111, 156-166
- Huang, L., Schreiber, A.M., Soffientino, B., Bengtson, D.A., Specker, J.L. (1998). Metamorphosis of the summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus): Thyroid status and the timing of gastric gland formation. Journal of Experimental Zoology 280, 413-420.
Regularly Taught Courses:
- BIOL 370, General and Comparative Endocrinology
- BIOL 247C, Comparative Animal Physiology
- BIOL 250, Cell Biology
- BIOL 347, Extreme Physiology
- BIOL 100/200, BioExpedition Kenya
Sample Student Projects Supervised:
- Synergistic effects of thyroid hormone and cortisol on thymus gland remodeling in Xenopus laevis tadpoles
- Influence of environmental endocrine disruptors on immune system development in tadpoles
- Influence of matrixmetallopreoteases on intestinal development during amphibian metamorphosis
- Maternal transmission of mercury and its redistribution in tissues of metamorphosing Xenopus laevis tadpoles
- Methylmercury uptake and tissue distribution in metamorphosing Xenopus laevis tadpoles fed a swordfish diet.
- Influence of sonic hedgehog signaling on intestinal remodeling during Xenopus laevis metamorphosis
- By appointment