Michael A. Dyer, Ph.D.

Michael A. Dyer, Ph.D.

Associate Member
Department of Developmental Neurobiology
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Affiliated Professor
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
DTRC Room D2025C
332 N. Lauderdale
Memphis, TN 38105
Tel: (901) 495-2257
Fax: (901) 495-3143
Email: Michael A. Dyer


  • Ph.D. Institution: Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts


St. Jude Faculty - Michael A. Dyer

Research Interests

My laboratory studies the regulation of growth during neural development and disease. Cell division must be carefully regulated during brain development to ensure that the resulting tissue is the appropriate size and contains the correct proportion of each specialized cell type. If the precise balance of cell types were altered in the brain, then the different neurons and glia would not be able to work together to process information. Many of the genes that control growth during development are also involved in regulating cell division following brain injury or in certain degenerative processes. In addition, these genes are often mutated in cancer cells. Therefore, by studying the regulation of growth during development, we can learn about the cause and progression of a variety of diseases in the central nervous system. This may ultimately lead to the design of better treatments for neural injury, degeneration and cancer.

The retina is a specialized region of the central nervous system that receives and processes visual information. Like the rest of the central nervous system, injury, degeneration and cancer involve changes in the growth properties of retinal cells. We use a wide range of experimental approaches to study how cell division is controlled during retinal development and disease. Methods currently being used in the lab include genetically engineered mice, replication incompetent retroviral vectors suitable for in vivo studies, explant culture systems, microarray hybridization, and to extended our observations to human retinopathies we use normal and diseased human tissue and monkey samples. Experimental approaches that are under development include retinal physiology (ERG), electron microscopy, cell sorting, in vivo mouse models of retinoblastoma, and computational modeling of proliferation during development.

Representative Publications

  • Kratochvill F, Neale G, Haverkamp JM, Van de Velde LA, Smith AM, Kawauchi D, McEvoy J, Roussel MF, Dyer MA, Qualls JE, Murray PJ. TNF Counterbalances the Emergence of M2 Tumor Macrophages. Cell Rep. 2015 Sep 22;12(11):1902-14. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.08.033. Epub 2015 Sep 10. PubMed PMID: 26365184; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4581986.
  • McEvoy JD, Dyer MA. Genetic and Epigenetic Discoveries in Human Retinoblastoma. Crit Rev Oncog. 2015;20(3-4):217-25. PubMed PMID: 26349417.
  • Pritchard EM, Dyer MA, Guy RK. Progress in Small Molecule Therapeutics for the Treatment of Retinoblastoma. Mini Rev Med Chem. 2015 Jul 21. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26202204.
  • Hiler D, Chen X, Hazen J, Kupriyanov S, Carroll PA, Qu C, Xu B, Johnson D, Griffiths L, Frase S, Rodriguez AR, Martin G, Zhang J, Jeon J, Fan Y, Finkelstein D, Eisenman RN, Baldwin K, Dyer MA. Quantification of Retinogenesis in 3D Cultures Reveals Epigenetic Memory and Higher Efficiency in iPSCs Derived from Rod Photoreceptors. Cell Stem Cell. 2015 Jul 2;17(1):101-15. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2015.05.015. PubMed PMID: 26140606; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4547539.
  • Stewart E, Federico S, Karlstrom A, Shelat A, Sablauer A, Pappo A, Dyer MA. The Childhood Solid Tumor Network: A new resource for the developmental biology and oncology research communities. Dev Biol. 2015 Jun 9. pii: S0012-1606(15)00105-0. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2015.03.001. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26068307.
  • Moriarity BS, Otto GM, Rahrmann EP, Rathe SK, Wolf NK, Weg MT, Manlove LA, LaRue RS, Temiz NA, Molyneux SD, Choi K, Holly KJ, Sarver AL, Scott MC, Forster CL, Modiano JF, Khanna C, Hewitt SM, Khokha R, Yang Y, Gorlick R, Dyer MA, Largaespada DA. A Sleeping Beauty forward genetic screen identifies new genes and pathways driving osteosarcoma development and metastasis. Nat Genet. 2015 Jun;47(6):615-24. doi: 10.1038/ng.3293. Epub 2015 May 11. PubMed PMID: 25961939.

View more references (pubmed link)