Oliver Hobert is pictured.
1212 Amsterdam Avenue, 805A Fairchild
New York
Office Phone: 
(212) 853-0063
Lab Phone: 
(212) 853-1215
Short Research Description: 

Nervous system development and function (hobertlab.org)

Full Research Description: 

The main focus of the laboratory is to understand the molecular mechanisms that generate the astounding diversity of cell types in a nervous system. Using theC.elegans model system, we have revealed a core regulatory logic for how terminal neuronal identity is controlled in several different neuron types [1-6]. We have demonstrated that these regulatory mechanisms are conserved in chordates [4, 5]. These insights have allowed us to reprogram the identity of heterologous cell types to that of specific neuron types [7, 8]. Venturing into a little explored area of neuronal diversification, we have developed a novel paradigm to study asymmetry across the left/right axis [9, 10], by far the least understood axis in any nervous system, and identified a complex gene regulatory network that differentially controls terminal neuron identity across this axis [11-24].

Aside from our main focus on neuronal development, we have also studied the molecular machinery with which the nervous system responds to the environment (i) to modulate behavior [10, 25-27] and (ii) to ensure that it maintains its functional and structural integrity [28-31].

Employing new technologies that we developed [32-35], we will continue to exploit the simplicity and experimental amenability of the worm to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the genetic programs that control the development of theC.elegans nervous system and we will continue to extend these insights to vertebrates.

Representative Publications: 
  • Gordon PM, Hobert O. (2015) “A Competition Mechanism for a Homeotic Neuron Identity Transformation in C. elegans.”Dev Cell. 2015 Jun.
  • Howell K, White JG, Hobert O. (2015) “Spatiotemporal control of a novel synaptic organizer molecule.”Nature. 2015 Jun.
  • Murgan S, Kari W, Rothbächer U, Iché-Torres M, Mélénec P, Hobert O, Bertrand V. (2015) “Atypical Transcriptional Activation by TCF via a Zic Transcription Factor in C. elegans Neuronal Precursors.”Dev Cell. 2015 Jun.
  • Kratsios, P, Pinan-Lucarré, B, Kerk, SY, Bessereau, JL and Hobert, O. (2015) “Transcriptional coordination of synaptogenesis and neurotransmitter signaling.”Curr Biol. 2015 May.
  • Woods DP, Ream TS, Minevich G, Hobert O, Amasino RM. (2014) “PHYTOCHROME C is an essential light receptor for photoperiodic flowering in the temperate grass, Brachypodium distachyon.”Genetics. 2014 Sept.
  • Rechavi O, Houri-Ze’evi L, Anava S, Goh WS, Kerk SY, Hannon GJ, Hobert O. (2014) “Starvation-induced transgenerational inheritance of small RNAs in C. elegans.”Cell. 2014 Jul.
  • Nagarajan A, Ning Y, Reisner K, Buraei Z, Larsen JP, Hobert O, Doitsidou M. (2014) “Progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons through TRP channel-induced cell death.”J Neurosci. 2014 Apr.
  • Glenwinkel L, Wu D, Minevich G, Hobert O. (2014) “TargetOrtho: A Phylogenetic Footprinting Tool To Identify Transcription Factor Targets.”Genetics. 2014 Feb.
  • Cochella L, Tursun B, Hsieh YW, Galindo S, Johnston RJ, Chuang CF, Hobert O. (2014) “Two distinct types of neuronal asymmetries are controlled by the Caenorhabditis elegans zinc finger transcription factor die-1.”Genes Dev. 2014 Jan.
  • Zhang F, Bhattacharya A, Nelson JC, Abe N, Gordon P, Lloret-Fernandez C, Maicas M, Flames N, Mann RS, Colón-Ramos DA, Hobert O. (2014) “The LIM and POU homeobox genes ttx-3 and unc-86 act as terminal selectors in distinct cholinergic and serotonergic neuron types.”Development. 2014 Jan.
  • Serrano-Saiz E, Poole RJ, Felton T, Zhang F, De La Cruz ED, Hobert O. (2013) “Modular control of glutamatergic neuronal identity in C. elegans by distinct homeodomain proteins.”Cell. 2013 Oct.
  • Doitsidou M, Flames N, Topalidou I, Abe N, Felton T, Remesal L, Popovitchenko T, Mann R, Chalfie M, Hobert O. (2013) “A combinatorial regulatory signature controls terminal differentiation of the dopaminergic nervous system in C. elegans.”Genes Dev. 2013 Jun.
  • Smith HK, Luo L, O’Halloran D, Guo D, Huang XY, Samuel AD, Hobert O. (2013) “Defining Specificity Determinants of Cyclic GMP-Mediated Gustatory Sensory Transduction in Caenorhabditis elegans.”Genetics. 2013 May.
  • Weinberg P, Flames N, Sawa H, Garriga G, Hobert O. (2013) “The SWI/SNF Chromatin Remodeling Complex Selectively Affects Multiple Aspects of Serotonergic Neuron Differentiation.”Genetics. 2013 May.
  • Cochella L, Hobert O. (2012) “Embryonic priming of a miRNA locus predetermines postmitotic neuronal left/right asymmetry in C. elegans.”Cell. 2012 Dec.
  • Minevich G, Park DS, Blankenberg D, Poole RJ, Hobert O. (2012) “CloudMap: A Cloud-based Pipeline for Analysis of Mutant Genome Sequences.”Genetics 2012 Dec.
  • Patel T, Tursun B, Rahe DP, Hobert O. (2012) “Removal of Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 Makes C. elegans Germ Cells Susceptible to Direct Conversion into Specific Somatic Cell Types.”Cell Rep 2012 Nov.
  • Bénard CY, Blanchette C, Recio J, Hobert O. (2012) “The secreted immunoglobulin domain proteins ZIG-5 and ZIG-8 cooperate with L1CAM/SAX-7 to maintain nervous system integrity.”PLoS Genet 2012 Jul.
  • Kratsios P., Stolfi A., Levine M., Hobert O. (2011) “Coordinated regulation of cholinergic motor neuron traits through a conserved terminal selector gene”Nat Neurosci. 2011 Nov.
  • Rechavi O., Minevich G., Hobert O. (2011) “Transgenerational Inheritance of an Acquired Small RNA-Based Antiviral Response in C. elegans”Cell 2011 Nov.
  • Zheng G, Cochella L, Liu J, Hobert O, Li WH. (2011) “Temporal and spatial regulation of microRNA activity with photoactivatable cantimirs.”ACS Chem Biol. 2011 Dec.
  • Bertrand V., Bisso P., Poole RJ., Hobert O. (2011) “Notch-dependent induction of left/right asymmetry in C. elegans interneurons and motorneurons”Curr Biol. 2011 Jul.
  • Poole RJ, Bashllari E., Cochella L., Flowers EB, Hobert O. (2011) “A Genome-Wide RNAi Screen for Factors Involved in Neuronal Specification in Caenorhabditis elegans.”PLoS Genet. 2011 Jun.
  • Flames N., Hobert O., (2011) “Transcriptional control of the terminal fate of monoaminergic neurons.”Annu Rev Neurosci. 2011
  • Zhang F, O’Meara MM, Hobert O. (2011) “A left/right asymmetric neuronal differentiation program is controlled by the Caenorhabditis elegans lsy-27 zinc-finger transcription factor.”Genetics 2011 Jul.
  • Tursun B, Patel T, Kratsios P, Hobert O. (2011) “Direct conversion of C. elegans germ cells into specific neuron types.”Science 2011 Jan.
  • Haklai-Topper L, Soutschek J, Sabanay H, Scheel J, Hobert O, Peles E. (2010) “The neurexin superfamily of Caenorhabditis elegans.”Gene Expr Patterns. 2011 Jan-Feb.
  • Goldsmith AD, Sarin S, Lockery S, Hobert O. (2010) “Developmental control of lateralized neuron size in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.”Neural Dev. 2010 Dec.
  • Doitsidou M, Poole RJ, Sarin S, Bigelow H, Hobert O. (2010) “C. elegans mutant identification with a one-step whole-genome-sequencing and SNP mapping strategy.”PLoS One 2010 Nov.
  • O’Meara MM, Zhang F, Hobert O. (2010) “Maintenance of neuronal laterality in Caenorhabditis elegans through MYST histone acetyltransferase complex components LSY-12, LSY-13 and LIN-49.”Genetics 2010 Dec.
  • Sarin S, Bertrand V, Bigelow H, Boyanov A, Doitsidou M, Poole RJ, Narula S, Hobert O. (2010) “Analysis of multiple ethyl methanesulfonate-mutagenized caenorhabditis elegans strains by whole-genome sequencing.”Genetics. 2010 June.
  • Flowers EB, Poole RJ, Tursun B, Bashllari E, Pe’er I, Hobert O. (2010) “The Groucho ortholog UNC-37 interacts with the short Groucho-like protein LSY-22 to control developmental decisions in C. elegans.”Development. 2010 June.
  • Pocock R, Hobert O. (2010) “Hypoxia activates a latent circuit for processing gustatory information in C. elegans.”Nat Neurosci. 2010 May.
  • Hobert O. (2010) “The impact of whole genome sequencing on model system genetics: get ready for the ride.”Genetics. 2010 Feb.
  • Didiano D, Cochella L, Tursun B, Hobert O. (2010) “Neuron-type specific regulation of a 3′UTR through redundant and combinatorially acting cis-regulatory elements.”RNA. 2010 Feb.
  • Bénard C, Tjoe N, Boulin T, Recio J, Hobert O. (2009) “The small, secreted immunoglobulin protein ZIG-3 maintains axon position in Caenorhabditis elegans.”Genetics. 2009 Nov.
  • Sarin S, Antonio C, Tursun B, Hobert O. (2009) “The C. elegans Tailless/TLX transcription factor nhr-67 controls neuronal identity and left/right asymmetric fate diversification.”Development. 2009 Sep.
  • Bigelow H, Doitsidou M, Sarin S, Hobert O. (2009) “MAQGene: software to facilitate C. elegans mutant genome sequence analysis.”Nat Methods. 2009 Aug.
  • Ortiz CO, Faumont S, Takayama J, Ahmed HK, Goldsmith AD, Pocock R, McCormick KE, Kunimoto H, Iino Y, Lockery S, Hobert O. (2009) “Lateralized gustatory behavior of C. elegans is controlled by specific receptor-type guanylyl cyclases.”Curr Biol. 2009 Jun.
  • Bertrand V, Hobert O. (2009) “Linking asymmetric cell division to the terminal differentiation program of postmitotic neurons in C. elegans.”Dev Cell 2009 Apr.
  • Flames N, Hobert O. (2009) “Gene regulatory logic of dopamine neuron differentiation.”Nature 2009 Mar.
  • Tursun B, Cochella L, Carrera I, Hobert O. (2009) “A toolkit and robust pipeline for the generation of fosmid-based reporter genes in C. elegans.”PLoS ONE. 2009 Mar.
  • O’Meara MM, Bigelow H, Flibotte S, Etchberger JF, Moerman DG, Hobert O. (2009) “Cis-regulatory Mutations in the Caenorhabditis elegans Homeobox Gene Locus cog-1 Affect Neuronal Development.”Genetics. 2009 Feb.
  • Tung JJ, Hobert O, Berryman M, Kitajewski J. (2009) “Chloride intracellular channel 4 is involved in endothelial proliferation and morphogenesis in vitro.”Angiogenesis. 2009 Feb.
  • Etchberger JF, Flowers EB, Poole RJ, Bashllari E, Hobert O. (2009) “Cis-regulatory mechanisms of left/right asymmetric neuron-subtype specification in C. elegans.”Development. 2009 Jan.
  • Shen Y, Sarin S, Liu Y, Hobert O, Pe’er I. (2008) “Comparing platforms for C. elegans mutant identification using high-throughput whole-genome sequencing.” PLoS One. 2008 Dec.
  • Bülow HE, Tjoe N, Townley RA, Didiano D, van Kuppevelt TH, Hobert O. (2008) “Extracellular sugar modifications provide instructive and cell-specific information for axon-guidance choices.” Curr Biol. 2008 Dec.
  • Doitsidou M, Flames N, Lee AC, Boyanov A, Hobert O. (2008) “Automated screening for mutants affecting dopaminergic-neuron specification in C. elegans.”Nat Methods 2008
  • Sarin S, Prabhu S, O’Meara MM, Pe’er I, Hobert O. (2008) “Caenorhabditis elegans mutant allele identification by whole-genome sequencing.”Nat Methods 2008
  • Didiano D, Hobert O. (2008) “Molecular architecture of a miRNA-regulated 3′ UTR.”RNA. 2008 July
  • Pocock R, Hobert O. (2008). “Oxygen levels affect axon guidance and neuronal migration in Caenorhabditis elegans.” Nat Neurosci. 2008 June [Epub]
  • Etchberger JF, Hobert O. (2008). “Vector-free DNA constructs improve transgene expression in C. elegans.” Nat Methods. 2008 January
  • Pocock R, Bénard C, Shapiro L, Hobert O. (2007) “Functional dissection of the C. elegans cell adhesion molecule SAX-7, a homologue of human L1.”Mol Cell Neurosci. 2007 Aug Epub.
  • Sarin S, OMeara M, Flowers EB, Antonio C, Poole P, Didiano D, Robert J. Johnston RJ Jr, Chang S, Narula S, Hobert O. (2007) “Genetic Screens for Caenorhabditis elegans Mutants Defective in Left/Right Asymmetric Neuronal Fate Specification” Genetics. 2007 August.
  • Etchberger JF, Lorch A, Sleumer MC, Zapf R, Jones SJ, Marra MA, Holt RA, Moerman DG, Hobert O. (2007). “The molecular signature and cis-regulatory architecture of a C. elegans gustatory neuron.” Genes Dev. 2007 July
  • Poole RJ, Hobert O. (2006) “Early embryonic programming of neuronal left/right asymmetry in C. elegans.” Curr Biol. 2006 December.
  • Boulin T, Pocock R, Hobert O. (2006) “A novel Eph receptor-interacting IgSF protein provides C. elegans motoneurons with midline guidepost function.” Curr Biol. 2006 October
  • Didiano D, Hobert O. (2006) “Perfect seed pairing is not a generally reliable predictor for miRNA-target interactions.” Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2006 September.
  • Johnston RJ Jr, Copeland JW, Fasnacht M, Etchberger JF, Liu J, Honig B, Hobert O. (2006) “An unusual Zn-finger/FH2 domain protein controls a left/right asymmetric neuronal fate decision in C. elegans.“ Development. 2006 September.
  • Bénard CY, Boyanov A, Hall DH, Hobert O. (2006) “DIG-1, a novel giant protein, non-autonomously mediates maintenance of nervous system architecture.” Development. 2006 September
  • Berry KL, Hobert O. (2006) “Mapping functional domains of chloride intracellular channel (CLIC) proteins in vivo.” J Mol Biol. 2006 June.
  • Faumont S, Boulin T, Hobert O, Lockery SR. (2006) “Developmental regulation of whole cell capacitance and membrane current in identified interneurons in C. elegans.“ J Neurophysiol. 2006 June.
  • Ortiz CO, Etchberger JF, Posy SL, Frokjaer-Jensen C, Lockery S, Honig B, Hobert O. (2006) “Searching for neuronal left/right asymmetry: genomewide analysis of nematode receptor-type guanylyl cyclases.” Genetics. 2006 May.
  • Johnston RJ Jr, Hobert O. (2005) “A novel C. elegans zinc finger transcription factor, lsy-2, required for the cell type-specific expression of the lsy-6 microRNA.” Development. 2005 December.
  • Johnston RJ Jr, Chang S, Etchberger JF, Ortiz CO, Hobert O. (2005) “MicroRNAs acting in a double-negative feedback loop to control a neuronal cell fate decision.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 August.
  • Remy JJ, Hobert O. (2005) “An interneuronal chemoreceptor required for olfactory imprinting in C. elegans.” Science. 2005 July.
  • Chang S, Johnston RJ Jr, Frokjaer-Jensen C, Lockery S, Hobert O.(2004) “MicroRNAs act sequentially and asymmetrically to control chemosensory laterality in the nematode.” Nature. 2004 August.
  • Deng X, Hofmann ER, Villanueva A, Hobert O, Capodieci P, Veach DR, Yin X, Campodonico L, Glekas A, Cordon-Cardo C, Clarkson B, Bornmann WG, Fuks Z, Hengartner MO, Kolesnick R. (2004) “Caenorhabditis elegans ABL-1 antagonizes p53-mediated germline apoptosis after ionizing irradiation.” Nat Genet. 2004 Aug.
  • Wenick AS, Hobert O.(2004) “Genomic cis-regulatory architecture and trans-acting regulators of a single interneuron-specific gene battery in C. elegans.” Dev Cell. 2004 June.
  • Bülow HE., Boulin T, Hobert O. (2004) “Differential Functions of the C. elegans FGF Receptor in Axon Outgrowth and Maintenance of Axon Position.” Neuron. 2004 May.
  • Bigelow HR, Wenick AS, Wong A, Hobert O. (2004) “CisOrtho: a program pipeline for genome-wide identification of transcription factor target genes using phylogenetic footprinting.” BMC Bioinformatics. 2004 March.
  • Mehta, N, Loria, PM, Hobert O. (2004) “A genetic screen for neurite outgrowth mutants in Caenorhabditis elegans reveals a new function for the F-box ubiquitin ligase component LIN-23.” Genetics. 2004 March.
  • Loria PM, Hodgkin J, Hobert O. (2004) “A conserved postsynaptic transmembrane protein affecting neuromuscular signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans.” J Neurosci. 2004 Mar.
  • Bülow HE, Hobert O. (2004) “Differential sulfations and epimerization define heparan sulfate specificity in nervous system development.” Neuron. 2004 Mar.
  • Johnston RJ, Hobert O. (2003) “A microRNA controlling left/right neuronal asymmetry in Caenorhabditis elegans.“ Nature. 2003 Dec.
  • Berry KL, Bülow HE, Hall DH, Hobert O. (2003) “A C. elegans CLIC-like protein required for intracellular tube formation and maintenance.” Science. 2003 Dec.
  • Tsalik EL, Niacaris T, Wenick AS, Pau K, Avery L, Hobert O. (2003) “LIM homeobox gene-dependent expression of biogenic amine receptors in restricted regions of the C. elegans nervous system.” Dev Biol. 2003 November.
  • Chang S, Johnston RJ Jr, Hobert O. (2003) “A transcriptional regulatory cascade that controls left/right asymmetry in chemosensory neurons of C. elegans.” Genes Dev. 2003 September.
  • Loria PM, Duke A, Rand, JB, Hobert, O. (2003) “Two neuronal, nuclear-localized RNA binding proteins involved in synaptic transmission.” Curr Biol. 2003 Aug.
  • Tsalik EL, Hobert O. (2003) “Functional mapping of neurons that control locomotory behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans.” J Neurobiol. 2003 Aug.
  • Raich WB, Moorman C, Lacefield CO, Lehrer J, Bartsch D, Plasterk RH, Kandel ER, Hobert O. (2003) “Characterization of Caenorhabditis elegans homologs of the Down syndrome candidate gene DYRK1A.” Genetics. 2003 Feb.
  • Aurelio O, Boulin T, Hobert O. (2003) “Identification of spatial and temporal cues that regulate postembryonic expression of axon maintenance factors in the C. elegans ventral nerve cord.” Development. 2003 Feb.
  • Bülow HE, Berry KL, Topper LH, Peles E, Hobert O. (2002) “Heparan sulfate proteoglycan-dependent induction of axon branching and axon misrouting by the Kallmann syndrome gene kal-1.”Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2002 Apr.
  • Hobert, O. (2002) “PCR fusion-based approach to create reporter gene constructs for expression analysis in transgenic C. elegans.” Biotechniques. 2002 April.
  • Aurelio O, Hall DH and Hobert O. (2002) “Immunoglobulin-domain proteins required for maintenance of ventral nerve cord organization.” Science. 2002 January.
  • Sarafi-Reinach TR, Melkman T, Hobert O, Sengupta P. (2001) “The lin-11 LIM homeobox gene specifies olfactory and chemosensory neuron fates in C. elegans.” Development 2001 September.
  • Altun-Gultekin Z, Andachi Y, Tsalik EL, Pilgrim D, Kohara Y, Hobert O. (2001) “A regulatory cascade of three homeobox genes, ceh-10, ttx-3 and ceh-23, controls cell fate specification of a defined interneuron class in C. elegans.” Development. 2001 June.

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[email protected]
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