Professor & Head
College Of Agriculture
David Threadgill’s laboratory uses the mouse as an experimental genetic model to investigate factors that contribute to inter-individual differences in health and disease. His current research activities include the identification and functional characterization of alleles contributing to cancer susceptibility, the function of the Erbb gene family in development and disease, and the role of genetic variation in response to environmental stimuli. To support these investigations, he and his team also are developing new genetic tools to support mammalian systems genetic approaches to phenotypes with complex genetic and environmental etiologies. They are focusing on colorectal, breast and kidney cancer to identify environmental factors and genetic polymorphisms contributing to differential susceptibility to the development and progression of cancer. They are also developing approaches to exploit these factors to prevent or delay cancer as well as to identify new therapies. They are using mouse models with genetically engineered or spontaneous mutations to elucidate the biological role of Egfr and other member of the Erbb gene family in vivo. These studies have led to new insights into the role of these genes in neuronal survival and behavior, obesity, cancer and cardiovascular disease. They are currently performing mechanistic studies to identify how the Erbb genes contribute to normal and abnormal phenotypes. Just as individuals differ in their genetic constitution and disease susceptibility, they also differ in their responses to exogenous stimuli. Threadgill and his team are using mouse models to investigate responses to environmental factors like the enteric flora of the gastrointestinal tract, diet, and toxicants like dioxin, trichloroethylene, and arsenic. The goal of these studies is to identify how individual responses to environmental factors leads to differential disease susceptibilities and methods to prevent disease in exposed individuals. Threadgill is a University Distinguished Professor; Tom and Jean McMullin Chair of Genetics; Director, Texas A&M Center for Environmental Health Research; Founding Director, Texas A&M Institute for Genome Sciences and Society; and a professor of molecular and cellular medicine and of biochemistry and biophysics. He earned a BS and Ph.D. from Texas A&M.