Dr. Paul Lasko
The Lasko Lab's research is focused on oogenesis and pole plasm assembly using the model organism Drosophila melanogaster, a.k.a. the fruit fly. Oogenesis is the process by which an egg is formed and matures. Pole plasm assembly is necessary for the formation of germ cells, immortal cells that are needed for gonad formation, which are necessary for sexual reproduction. There have been many successful genetic screens to identify genes necessary for oogenesis and pole plasm assembly and many of our projects are based on studying genes found in these screens.
Drosophila oogenesis provides an excellent system to study processes conserved in many different metazoan species. Such processes include translational control and RNA localization. Pole plasm assembly also provides insight on the formation of stem cells.
Paul Lasko received a Ph.D. in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he carried out a genetic saturation of the chromosomal region surrounding the Drosophila vestigial gene in the laboratory of Mary Lou Pardue. He then moved to the laboratory of Michael Ashburner, in the Department of Genetics at Cambridge University, where he cloned and did an initial characterization of vasa. Paul Lasko joined the Biology Department at McGill University in April 1990, was promoted to Associate Professor in 1996 and to Full Professor in 1999. He has served as Biology Department Chair since June 2000, and is a founding member of the DBRI. Dr Lasko was a Research Scientist of the National Cancer Institute of Canada from 1992-98, won the Young Scientist Award of the Genetics Society of Canada in 1998 and its Award of Excellence in 2004, and is a contributor to the Faculty of 1000.