January 23, 2002
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.-- The National Science Foundation has awarded Amherst College with a grant of $140,001 to support of the work of Caroline E. Goutte, an assistant professor of biology. Her project is called “ RUI: The Role of APH-1 and APH-2 in Notch-Mediated Cell Interactions in C. Elegans.”

“My research is geared towards understanding how cellular communication is mediated during the development of a multicellular animal,” Goutte writes on the Amherst College Website.

“The model system we use in the laboratory is the nematode worm, C. elegans and the approach we use is a combination of classical genetics and molecular genetics. Mutations that prevent embryos from undergoing normal embryogenesis are used to pinpoint important genes whose products may be involved in very early events of cellular communication.”

Goutte, who specializes in the molecular mechanisms of cell-cell interaction, graduated from Cornell University and received her Ph.D. from the University of California at San Francisco. Her paper “aph-2 Encodes a Novel Extracellular Protein Required for GLP-1-Mediated Signaling,” describing the discovery and analysis of a new protein required for communication between neighboring cells, appeared in the May 2000 issue of the journal Development. She has just published an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences titled “APH-1 is a novel multipass membrane protein essential for the Notchsignaling pathway in C. elegans embryos.”

The National Science Foundation funds research and education in science and engineering. It does this through grants, contracts and cooperative agreements to more than 2,000 colleges, universities and other research and education institutions in all parts of the United States. The Foundation accounts for about 20 percent of federal support to academic institutions for basic research. See the National Science Foundation Website.