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We are interested in the way different cell configurations control how a cell responds to its environment in vertebrate development. My lab has helped reveal how one feature of cell architecture, the primary cilium, participates in intercellular communication. The cilium coordinates signal transduction and disruption of ciliary signaling causes diseases collectively called ciliopathies. In particular, we are investigating how Hedgehog signals, important regulators of many developmental events, make use of cilia. As cilia are ancient, highly-conserved organelles possessed by the eukaryotic cenancestor, our evolutionary studies are exploring how intercellular communication made use of cilia. Investigating how the primary cilium coordinates Hedgehog signal transduction will illuminate one way that cell architecture controls intercellular communication. These insights have implications for ciliopathies and cilia-dependent diseases as diverse as retinal degeneration and basal cell carcinoma.