Sarah Hughes

Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry - Medical Genetics Dept


Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry - Medical Genetics Dept
(780) 492-8984
8-42A Medical Sciences Building
8613 - 114 St NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H7


Area of Study / Keywords

Drosophila genetic model confocal microscopy proliferation cell adhesion Drosophila genetic model confocal microscopy proliferation cell adhesion


Academic Degrees and Training

  • B.Sc.: University of Lethbridge
  • M.Sc.: University of Calgary
  • PhD: University of Toronto
  • Post-doctoral training: Duke University


Current Research Interests

Research Areas

Epithelial cell polarity and adhesion, neural stem cells, Regulation of proliferation and differentiation, tumour suppressor proteins, cancer, post-transcriptional regulation, Neurofibromatosis Type 2, Schwannomatosis, atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumours, autism spectrum disorder

Current Research Interests

We are interested in the regulation of polarity, proliferation and differentiation and how dysregulation of these processes can lead to cancer and developmental disorders.

Research Interests

We study the molecular mechanisms that link polarity, proliferation and differentiation in epithelial cells and neural stem cells. We are also interested in how dysregulation of these processed can lead to tumorigenesis. Specifically, we use Drosophila melanogaster (the fruit fly) as a genetic model to study Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2) and Schwannomatosis, which are inherited cancers of the brain and nervous system. The molecular mechanisms underlying these diseases are not understood. To address this question, we are using multiple approaches including molecular biology, advanced microscopy, proteomics and genetic analyses using animal (Drosophila) and cell culture models to investigate the mechanisms of regulation underlying these disorders via identification and characterization of interacting proteins and cell signaling pathways.





CELL 302 - Diversity of the Cell

A cross-sectional study of human cells and their specialized functions. The function of neurons, adipocytes, myocytes, epithelial cells, endothelia cells and other cell types will be explored. Current literature will be used when possible. Prerequisite: CELL 201 or BIOL 201.

MDGEN 601 - Selected Topics in Medical Genetics

A directed reading and seminar course based on papers taken from the recent literature of medical genetics. The course consists of lectures on a specific topic in medical genetics and oral presentations of the current literature by students. Selected topics vary so that students may take the same course but examining a different topic for additional credit. Prerequisite: consent of the Department of Medical Genetics.

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Featured Publications

Ueda K., Anderson-Baron M.N., Haskins J., Hughes S.C., Simmonds A.J.

Journal of Cell Science. 2022 April; 135 (7) 10.1242/jcs.259092

Snr1 regulates stem cell differentiation in the Drosophila brain

Cell Biology Research Day. 2022 February;

SWI/SNF complex protein Snr1 regulates proliferation and differentiation in the Drosophila optic lobe.

62nd Drosophila Research Conference (GSA) Virtual Meeting . 2021 March;

Keegan S.E., Hughes S.C.

GENOME. 2021 February; 64 (2):75-85 10.1139/gen-2020-0039

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