Kirst King-Jones, PhD

Associate Professor, Faculty of Science - Biological Sciences


Associate Professor, Faculty of Science - Biological Sciences
(780) 492-8605
G-504 Bio Science - Genetics Wing
11355 - Saskatchewan Drive
Edmonton AB
T6G 2E9


Steroid hormones are ancient signaling molecules that play fundamental roles in development and disease. For instance, steroid hormones are critical regulators of reproductive tissues in humans, and are a key determinant of insect development. In addition, steroid hormones play crucial roles in maintaining mineral salt concentrations, and control stress as well as inflammatory responses in humans. Steroid hormones are usually released as pulses, thereby generating a systemic timing signal that functions to coordinate multiple physiological and developmental changes throughout the body. In Drosophila, pulses of the steroid hormone ecdysone govern all major developmental transitions, including the larval molts, the transformation of a larva to a pupa and metamorphosis. While we have a relatively good understanding of the enzymatic steps that synthesize the hormone, comparatively little is known about the complex signaling pathways that control these pulses. Currently, we are modeling the function of rare human disease genes in Drosophila by exploring their unexpected relationships to the cellular signaling pathways that control the regulation and production of steroid hormones pulses.

Visit our lab homepage for more information...

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2017: Interested in joining our lab? We have opportunities for PhD students and BIOL498/499!

September 1. Welcome to our new lab member, Song Wang!

August 25. Pendleton Cox Master's Thesis defence.

August 18. Check out our latest paper on circadian rhythms: 

U of A press release

Publisher site.

August 15: Dr. Qiuxiang Ou leaves our lab (congrats on the new job!!)


BIOL 207 - Molecular Genetics and Heredity

The chromosomal and molecular basis for the transmission and function of genes. The construction of genetic and physical maps of genes and genomes. Strategies for the isolation of specific genes. Examples of regulatory mechanisms for the expression of the genetic material in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Prerequisite: BIOL 107 or SCI 100.

Fall Term 2020
GENET 304 - Gene Expression and its Regulation

The molecular biology of the processes by which the base sequence of genes is expressed as cellular phenotype will be examined. Emphasis will be placed upon the similarities and differences between prokaryotes and eukaryotes and upon the mechanisms that regulate the operation of particular genes. Prerequisite: GENET 270.

Fall Term 2020
GENET 601 - Genetics Seminars

Fall Term 2020

Browse more courses taught by Kirst King-Jones


A Drosophila Genome-Wide Screen Identifies Regulators of Steroid Hormone Production and Developmental Timing.
Author(s): E. Thomas Danielsen, Morten E. Moeller, Naoki Yamanaka, Qiuxiang Ou, Janne M. Laursen, Caecilie Soenderholm, Ran Zhuo, Brian Phelps, Kevin Tang, Jie Zeng, Shu Kondo, Christian H. Nielsen, Eva B. Harvald,6 Nils J. Faergeman,6 Macy J. Haley, Kyle A. O’Connor, Kirst King-Jones, Michael B. O’Connor, and Kim F. Rewitz
Publication: Developmental Cell
Volume: 37
Page Numbers: 558-570
External Link:
Nuclear receptor DHR4 controls the timing of steroid hormone pulses during Drosophila development.
Author(s): Qiuxiang Ou, Adam Magico, Kirst King-Jones*
Publication: PLoS Biology
Volume: 9
Issue: 9
Page Numbers: 1-19
External Link:
The Circadian Clock Is a Key Driver of Steroid Hormone Production in Drosophila.
Author(s): Francesca Di Cara and Kirst King-Jones
Publication: Current Biology
Volume: 26
Page Numbers: 1-9
External Link:
The Hippo pathway promotes cell survival in response to chemical stress.
Author(s): F Di Cara, TM Maile, BD Parsons, A Magico, S Basu, N Tapon and K King-Jones
Publication: Cell Death and Differentiation
Volume: 22
Page Numbers: 1526–1539
External Link:
The Insect Prothoracic Gland as a Model for Steroid Hormone Biosynthesis and Regulation.
Author(s): Qiuxiang Ou, Jie Zeng, Naoki Yamanaka, Christina Brakken-Thal, Michael B. O’Connor, Kirst King-Jones
Publication: Cell Reports
Volume: 16
Page Numbers: 247-262
External Link: