The Evans laboratory has explored and exploited the strengths of numerous developmental systems (chick, quail, mouse, human, zebrafish). With a great appreciation for other models (flies, worms, and yeast), the focus has been on vertebrate organogenesis and the work now translates mostly between zebrafish and mouse ES cell systems. A major theme over the past 10 years has been to dissect out specificity among related members of key gene families (Smads, GATA, Tbox, etc.), considering that this will be essential information for developing effective cellular, regenerative, or pharmacological therapies, since the related genes are in some contexts functionally redundant, but in other contexts have exquisite functional specificity. The laboratory has been continuously funded by the NIH and in addition from other sources (AHA, ACS, MOD, etc.).
Having moved after spending the past 14 years at Albert Einstein, Dr. Evans now serves as Vice Chair for Research in Surgery at Weill Cornell, with a defined mission to develop a synergy of basic, preclinical, and translational research in Regenerative Medicine. Over the past several years his own laboratory has focused very much on stem cell biology. While this is a natural extension of a developmental perspective, it is also clearly driven by recent advances in the identification of new stem and progenitor cell populations (including cancer stem cells), the ability to manipulate potency (iPS), and the promise of regenerative medicine. Specifically, a partnership of developmental biologists (stem cell biologists) and tissue engineers, in the context of appropriate clinical expertise (oncologists, surgeons, etc. who understand the practical limitations of current clinical needs) has tremendous potential to impact our ability to treat debilitating diseases.
Rikin A, Evans T. The tbx/bHLH transcription factor mga regulates gata4 and organogenesis. Dev Dyn. 2010 Feb;239(2):535-47.
Holtzinger A, Rosenfeld GE, Evans T. Gata4 directs development of cardiac-inducing endoderm from ES cells. Dev Biol. 2010 Jan 1;337(1):63-73.
Hooper AT, Shmelkov SV, Gupta S, Milde T, Bambino K, Gillen K, Goetz M, Chavala S, Baljevic M, Murphy AJ, Valenzuela DM, Gale NW, Thurston G, Yancopoulos GD, Vahdat L, Evans T, Rafii S. Angiomodulin is a specific marker of vasculature and regulates vascular endothelial growth factor-A-dependent neoangiogenesis. Circ Res. 2009 Jul 17;105(2):201-8.
Evans T. Fishing for a WNT-PGE2 link: beta-catenin is caught in the stem cell net-work. Cell Stem Cell. 2009 Apr 3;4(4):280-2.
Torregroza I, Evans T, Das BC. A forward chemical screen using zebrafish embryos with novel 2-substituted 2H-chromene derivatives. Chem Biol Drug Des. 2009 Mar;73(3):339-45.
Evans T. 142.Embryonic Stem Cells as a Model for Cardiac Development and Disease. Drug Discov Today Dis Models. 2008;5(3):147-155.
McReynolds LJ, Tucker J, Mullins MC, Evans T. Regulation of hematopoiesis by the BMP signaling pathway in adult zebrafish. Exp Hematol. 2008 Dec;36(12):1604-1615.
Kadereit B, Kumar P, Wang WJ, Miranda D, Snapp EL, Severina N, Torregroza I, Evans T, Silver DL. Evolutionarily conserved gene family important for fat storage. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Jan 8;105(1):94-9.
Holtzinger A, Evans T. Gata5 and Gata6 are functionally redundant in zebrafish for specification of cardiomyocytes. Dev Biol. 2007 Dec 15;312(2):613-22.
McReynolds LJ, Gupta S, Figueroa ME, Mullins MC, Evans T. Smad1 and Smad5 differentially regulate embryonic hematopoiesis. Blood. 2007 Dec 1;110(12):3881-90.
Zafonte BT, Liu S, Lynch-Kattman M, Torregroza I, Benvenuto L, Kennedy M, Keller G, Evans T. Smad1 expands the hemangioblast population within a limited developmental window. Blood. 2007 Jan 15;109(2):516-23.