David L. Turner, Ph.D.

Research Associate Professor, Michigan Neuroscience Institute
Associate Professor, Department of Biological Chemistry

5051 BSRB
109 Zina Pitcher Place
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2200

(734) 647-6890

Areas of Interest

The Turner lab studies gene regulation and the determination of cell identity during development of the mammalian central nervous system. They are interested in understanding how the regulatory networks of genes control differentiation and the formation of specific types of neurons during development.

Numerous endogenous small RNAs (microRNAs) are essential regulators for genes in mammals. Turner’s team has identified microRNAs that can alter cell identity in the developing nervous system and is working to understand the role they play in a novel regulatory transcriptional regulatory pathway that modulates interneuron formation during development of the mouse retina.

The lab utilizes the following techniques to study the function of retinal genes regulated by microRNAs:

  • High-throughput sequencing methods (small RNA-seq, PAR-CLIP, RNA-seq) to identify candidate regulatory genes and microRNA targets.
  • RNA interference (RNAi), CRISPR/Cas9, and others to assess gene function during retinal development in mice.
  • RNA polymerase III-based and RNA polymerase II-based expression vectors for mammalian RNAi (developed by the Turner lab). These vectors can be used to inhibit gene expression in neurons and other cells.

Turner’s team has also developed in situ hybridization techniques for visualizing the expression of miRNAs in mammalian tissue sections, as well as an improved miRNA in situ hybridization method based on the hybridization chain reaction.

Published Articles or Reviews

Regulation of retinal amacrine cell generation by miR-216b and Foxn3.
Zhang H, Zhuang P, Welchko RM, Dai M, Meng F, and Turner DL. 2020. BioRxiv 10.1101/2020.10.28.358069 [Preprint] October 28, 2020. 

Combined microRNA and mRNA detection in mammalian retinas by in situ hybridization chain reaction. 
Zhuang P, Zhang H, Welchko RM, Thompson RC, Xu S, Turner DL. Sci Rep 2020 Jan 15;10(1):351. PMCID: PMC6962165 

Negative regulation of Yap during neuronal differentiation.
Zhang H, Deo M, Thompson RC, Uhler MD, Turner DL. Dev Biol. 2012 Jan 1;361(1):103-15. PMCID: PMC3235039.

To view a complete list, visit: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/david.turner.2/bibliography/public/