Peter N. Devreotes, professor and director of the Department of Cell Biology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, received the Isaac Morris Hay and Lucille Elizabeth Hay Professorship in Embryology in a June 12 dedication at the Welch Medical Library. Devreotes also serves on the Executive Committee of the Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology.
Using the amoeba Dictyostelium as a model system, Devreotes’ research focuses on identifying the genes responsible for a cell’s “sense of direction.” During embryogenesis and in the adult, cells use chemical gradients to direct their movements to find and maintain their proper positions. The process, referred to as chemotaxis, is not only found in normal physiology but in inflammatory diseases and cancer metastasis.
Devreotes graduated Phi Kappa Phi with a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisc. He graduated summa cum laude with a doctorate in biophysics from The Johns Hopkins University. He was elected to The National Academy of Sciences in 2005 and also won a National Institutes of Health Merit Award that same year.