Julie A Kuhlman

Assistant Professor
Julie Kuhlman photo

Dr. Kuhlman received her Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology from the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences. Her thesis work was undertaken at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and focused on early limb and kidney development. As a postdoctoral fellow in the Institute of Neuroscience at the University of Oregon, Dr. Kuhlman investigated the development of the peripheral nervous system in the zebrafish, Danio rerio. She joined the Genetics, Development and Cell Biology Department faculty at Iowa State in 2009.

Research Description

The major focus of our research is to understand the developmental mechanisms underlying the formation of the vertebrate peripheral nervous system, with a particular emphasis on the formation of the enteric nervous system. Using zebrafish as a model, we aim to examine the genetic, molecular and cellular basis of the signals that direct peripheral nervous system development and function. Increasing our understanding of how the nervous system develops and is maintained can help further our knowledge of how alterations in these processes may lead to nervous system dysfunction and disease.


  • Bates, J., Mittge, E., Kuhlman, J., Baden, K., Cheesman, S. and Guillemin, K. 2006. Distinct signals from the microbiota promote different aspects of zebrafish gut differentiation. Developmental Biology 297:374-386.
  • Kuhlman, J and Eisen, J.S. 2006. A genetic screen for mutations affecting development and function of the enteric nervous system. Developmental Dynamics 236:118-127.
  • Hyer, J., Kuhlman, J., Afif, E. and Mikawa, T. 2003. Optic cup morphogenesis requires pre-lens ectoderm but not lens differentiation. Developmental Biology 15:351-363.
  • Obara-Ishihara T.*, Kuhlman, J.*, Niswander L. and Herzlinger D. (* co-first author). 1999. Inductive interactions between intermediate mesoderm and surface ectoderm regulate nephric duct formation. Development 126:1103-1108.
  • Kuhlman J. and Niswander, L. 1997. Limb Deformity Proteins: Role in mesodermal induction of the apical ectodermal ridge . Development 124:133-139.
Area of Expertise: 
Formation of the Enteric Nervous System
B.S., Genetics/Biology, University of Illinois, 1989
Ph.D., Cell Biology and Development, Cornell Graduate School of Medicines, 1999
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