Departments: Human Genetics - Assistant Professor
Cancer Center Programs: Cell Response & Regulation
Academic Office Information
Gillian Stanfield, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Utah and a member of the Cell Response and Regulation Program at the Huntsman Cancer Institute.Stanfield studies cell motility, a process critical for development and wound healing that must be tightly regulated to prevent birth defects, the spread of cancer cells, and other adverse effects. Using sperm cells of the nematode C. elegans, she is identifying molecular pathways that regulate the ability of cells to migrate. She has found that motility is regulated in part by the opposing activities of a protease and protease inhibitors, suggesting a signaling role for proteolysis activity in this and other cell types. She is currently investigating how cells interpret such signals and respond with morphological rearrangements that allow them to migrate. In another line of research, she is studying how migratory behaviors contribute to competition between sperm, a process with parallels to the occupation of a niche by stem cells.Stanfield received an AB degree from the University of Chicago and a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She did postdoctoral research at Stanford University before coming to the University of Utah.