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Timothy DuBuc

Visiting Assistant Professor



  2. Primary Phone: (610) 957-6428
  3. Singer Hall 313
  4. Office Hours: Fridays 11:30-1:00 EST
Tim DuBuc



Stem Cell Biology

Stem Cells in Development and Regeneration


Research Interests

My lab utilizes the cnidarian model system Hydractinia to look at diverse properties of animal growth, regeneration and reproduction.  Researchers in my field have the unique opportunity to visualize the stem and germ cells of the animal within the living organism.


I have always been fascinated with how cells relay information during embryonic development. In most cnidarians, embryonic development generates a swimming larval stage called a planula.

                                                      Embryonic development of Hydractinia symbiolongicarpus


I am particularly interested in cellular behavior in response to environmental stimuli. To address this topic, I utilize a host of transgenic reporters for stem cells and germ cells to uncover how cells behave in vivo. 



Cnidarians are one of the best models for understanding aspects of regeneration. The can regenerate lost body parts within the matter of days.

                                                                            Regeneration in Nematostella vectensis


Students in my lab have participated in a number of different research projects, including: genomics and creation of transgenic reporters. We have even begun to model how 3D space alters animal growth. We are currently testing how coral skeleton shape influences rates of sexual reproduction.


At Swarthmore, students have the opportunity to lead independent research projects!!!


2020 Summer Research Scholars

Former Lab Members

  Anna Abruzzo - Class of 2020


Research Publications

DuBuc TQ, Schnitzler CE, Gonzalez P, Chrysostomou EG, McMahon EM, Febrimarsa, Gahan JM, Barreira S, Gornik SG, Baxevanis AD, Frank U. (2020) Transcription factor AP2 controls cnidarian germ cell induction, Science, 367 (6479):757-762.

DuBuc TQ, Ryan JF, Martindale MQ. (2019) “Dorsal-ventral” genes are part of an ancient axial patterning system: evidence from Trichoplax adhaerens (Placozoa), Molecular Biology and Evolution, msz025.

DuBuc TQ, Stephenson TB, Rock A, Martindale MQ. (2018) Hox and Wnt pattern the primary body axis of an anthozoan cnidarian before gastrulation, Nature Communications, 9(1):2007.

Gahan J, Schnitzler C, DuBuc TQ, Doonan L, Kanska J, Gornik S, Barreira S, Thompson K, Schiffer P, Baxevanis A, Frank U. (2017) Notch signaling is required for morphogenesis and nematogenesis but dispensable for neural commitment in Hydractinia, Developmental Biology, 428(1):224-231.

Röttinger E, DuBuc TQ, Amiel A, Martindale MQ (2015). Nodal signaling is required for mesoderm formation and ventral fates in the indirect developing hemichordate, Ptychodera flava, Biology Open 4, 830-842.

Dattoli AA, Hink MA, DuBuc TQ, Teunisse BJ, Goedhart J, Röttinger E, Postma M (2015). Characterization of Nematostella vectensis SNAILA/B suggests a novel function in the nucleolus, Scientific Reports, 5:12147.

DuBuc TQ, Dattoli AA, Babonis LS, Salinas-Saavedra M, Röttinger E, Martindale MQ, Postma M. (2014).  In vivo imaging of Nematostella vectensis embryogenesis and late development using fluorescent probes, BMC Cell Biology, 15:44.

DuBuc TQ, Traylor-Knowles N, Martindale MQ. (2014). Initiating a regenerative response, cellular and molecular features of wound healing in the cnidarian Nematostella vectensis, BMC Biology, 12(1):24.

DuBuc TQ, Ryan J, Shinzato C, Satoh N, Martindale MQ. (2012). Coral comparative genomics reveal expanded Hox cluster in the cnidarian-bilaterian ancestor, Integrative and Comparative Biology, 52:835-41.

Traylor-Knowles N, Hansen U, DuBuc TQ, Martindale MQ, Kaufman L, Finnerty JR. (2010). The evolutionary diversification of LSF and Grainyhead transcription factors preceded the radiation of basal animal lineages, BMC Evol. Biol. 18:101.

Gaidos E, DuBuc TQ, Dunford M, McAndrew P, Padilla-Gamino J, Studer B, Stanley S. (2007). The precambrian emergence of animal life: a geobiological perspective, Geobiology, 5:351.