Developmental Biology Program
The Eric Lai Lab
As a laboratory of developmental biology, our guiding interest is to comprehend how complex biological patterns can be assembled with stereotyped precision. This requires a detailed understanding of how cells come to execute appropriate behaviors — be it adoption of specific cell fates, proliferation, or apoptosis — and do so at the right times, in the right places, and in the right numbers. Dysfunction of processes that direct normal tissue patterning results not only in developmental disorder but also underlies adult disease. Tellingly, many factors whose mutation is relevant to human cancer were first identified and characterized with respect to development in model organisms. To study these topics, we utilize integrative approaches, combining genetics, biochemistry, and genomewide approaches, to elucidate detailed molecular mechanisms and use these to understand in vivo biology as well as decipher genomic regulatory networks.
Recent Lai Lab Publications
Shang R, Lee S, Senavirathne G, Lai EC (2023). microRNAs in action: biogenesis, function and regulation. Nat Rev Genet.
Vedanayagam J, Herbette M, Mudgett H, Lin CJ, Lai CM, McDonough-Goldstein C, Dorus S, Loppin B, Meiklejohn C, Dubruille R, Lai EC (2023). Essential and recurrent roles for hairpin RNAs in silencing de novo sex chromosome conflict in Drosophila simulans. PLoS Biol.
Lee S, Chen YC, FCA Consortium, Gillen A, Taliaferro JM, Deplancke B, Li H and Lai EC (2022). Diverse cell-specific patterns of alternative polyadenylation in Drosophila. Nature Communications.
Zheng L, Liu J, Niu L, Kamran M, Yang A, Jolma A, Dai Q, Hughes TR, Patel DJ, Zhang L, Prasanth SG, Yu Y, Ren A and Lai EC (2022). Distinct structural bases for sequence-specific DNA binding by mammalian BEN domain proteins.Genes & Development 36, 225-240.
Eric C. Lai, PhD
- The Lai laboratory integrates genetics, biochemistry, and genomewide approaches to study diverse regulatory networks during patterning and behavior.
- BA, Harvard College
- PhD, University of California, San Diego
- Louise and Allston Boyer Young Investigator Award for Basic Research, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (2009)
- Kimmel Scholar, Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research (2007-2009)
- V Scholar, V Foundation for Cancer Research (2006-2008)
- Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences, Burroughs Wellcome Fund (2005)
- Special Fellow, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (2004-2006)
- Fellow, Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation (2000-2003)
- First elucidation of the major basis of miRNA-target recognition
- Discovery of novel transcription and signaling and factors that regulate neural development
To learn more about available postdoctoral opportunities, please visit our Career Center
To learn more about compensation and benefits for postdoctoral researchers at MSK, please visit Resources for Postdocs
Get in Touch
Doctors and faculty members often work with pharmaceutical, device, biotechnology, and life sciences companies, and other organizations outside of MSK, to find safe and effective cancer treatments, to improve patient care, and to educate the health care community.
MSK requires doctors and faculty members to report (“disclose”) the relationships and financial interests they have with external entities. As a commitment to transparency with our community, we make that information available to the public.
Eric C. Lai discloses the following relationships and financial interests:
No disclosures meeting criteria for time period
The information published here is for a specific annual disclosure period. There may be differences between information on this and other public sites as a result of different reporting periods and/or the various ways relationships and financial interests are categorized by organizations that publish such data.
This page and data include information for a specific MSK annual disclosure period (January 1, 2022 through disclosure submission in spring 2023). This data reflects interests that may or may not still exist. This data is updated annually.