Parker B. Antin, PhD

Associate Dean, Research-Agriculture and Life Sciences
Professor, Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Research Interests: 

We primarily use the chicken embryo as a model organism, and approach research questions from the dual perspective of how individual molecules function and how their functions integrate into molecular networks.


One present research emphasis is concerned with understanding epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) during gastrulation. EMT is a fundamental biological process necessary for elaboration of the vertebrate body plan and for organ formation.  Aspects of the EMT program are misregulated and/or co-opted in numerous human diseases. During gastrulation, epithelial cells of the epiblast undergo a “classical EMT” to form the mesoderm.  Movement of cells from the epithelial epiblast through EMT in the primitive streak to the mesoderm requires less than two hours and corresponds to the upregulation and downregulation of more than 1500 genes that drive complex changes in cell fate and behavior.  Studies in the lab seek to understand how transcriptional pathways activated during gastrulation regulate the cell biology of EMT. 

Another long standing research focus is to understand how signaling pathways control heart muscle cell development, from the emergence of premyocardial cells during gastrulation to formation of the primitive heart tube.  BMP and FGF signaling are well-known regulators cardiogenesis that play an important role in allocating cells to two molecularly distinct regions known as the first and second heart fields.  Combining experimental embryology, transcriptional profiling and bioinformatics, studies are investigating how BMP and FGF signaling drive both distinct and overlapping regulatory programs across the heart forming regions of the embryo.

Our laboratory also hosts the GEISHA in situ hybridization database and website (, an NIH funded repository of gene expression information for the chicken embryo.  This freely accessible database houses close to 35,000 images showing mRNA expression patterns for several thousand developmentally regulated genes.

I am a member of the Molecular Cardiovascular Research Program (MCRP) and the Bio5 Institute.

Molecular Medicine Grad Program: 



Schmid, M., J. Smith, D. W. Burt, B. L. Aken, P. B. Antin, A. L. Archibald, C. Ashwell, P. J. Blackshear, C. Boschiero, T. C Brown, et al., "Third Report on Chicken Genes and Chromosomes 2015.", Cytogenet Genome Res, vol. 145, issue 2, pp. 78-179, 2015. PMID: 26282327


Cooley, J. R., T. A. Yatskievych, and P. B. Antin, "Embryonic expression of the transforming growth factor beta ligand and receptor genes in chicken.", Dev Dyn, vol. 243, issue 3, pp. 497-508, 2014 Mar. PMCID: PMC3969743  PMID: 24166734


Hardy, K. M., T. A. Yatskievych, J. Konieczka, A. S. Bobbs, and P. B. Antin, "FGF signalling through RAS/MAPK and PI3K pathways regulates cell movement and gene expression in the chicken primitive streak without affecting E-cadherin expression.", BMC Dev Biol, vol. 11, pp. 20, 2011. PMCID: PMC3071786  PMID: 21418646
Yaklichkin, S. Yu, D. K. Darnell, M. V. Pier, P. B. Antin, and S. Hannenhalli, "Accelerated evolution of 3'avian FOXE1 genes, and thyroid and feather specific expression of chicken FoxE1.", BMC Evol Biol, vol. 11, pp. 302, 2011. PMCID: PMC3207924  PMID: 21999483


Antin, P. B., M. Pier, T. Sesepasara, T. A. Yatskievych, and D. K. Darnell, "Embryonic expression of the chicken Krüppel-like (KLF) transcription factor gene family.", Dev Dyn, vol. 239, issue 6, pp. 1879-87, 2010 Jun. PMCID: PMC2925473  PMID: 20503383