Stephanie Toering Peters

Associate Professor of Biology

(319) 352-8694

(319) 352-8606

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More about Stephanie Toering Peters

B.S., 1996, Hope College
Ph.D., 2003, Stanford University

Current Research
I have two major areas of research at the current time: investigating the function of the gene l(2)37Cc, a homolog of the human Prohibitin protein, in Drosophila and the role of particular genes in neurotransmission at the neuromuscular junction in Drosophila.

The gene l(2)37Cc in Drosophila is homologous to the Prohibitin protein in humans (and many other organisms). One of my colleagues, Dr. McClung has studied the Prohibitin protein in human cells and cancer cell lines, and my students and I are now investigating the localization and function of the Drosophila homolog. This project is a great example of how research in model organisms (flies, worms, frogs, mice, etc.) can inform our knowledge of human proteins and human biology. See Dr. McClung’s page for more information on Prohibitin in human cancer.

The second project is a collaboration with C. Andrew Frank at the University of Iowa. Dr. Frank is interested in the process of synaptic homeostasis at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). The NMJ is the region of the muscle where the neuron signals to the muscle to contract, and homeostasis is a process by which the neuron alters the amount of neurotransmitter released in response to an unknown signal from the muscle cell. While I was a FUTURE Fellow at Iowa (summer of 2011), I identified a gene involved in neurotransmission at the NMJ, and I am continuing to characterize the role this particular gene has in the process in collaboration with Wartburg students.

Other Areas of Interest (for 455/456 students)

  • Developmental processes in Drosophila melanogaster
  • Pheromonal communication in Drosophila melanogaster
  • Projects that combine genetic, biochemical, and molecular biological approaches
Advising Expertise
Molecular/Cell Biology

Courses Taught
BI101 Concepts of Biology
BI132 Extreme Biology
BI152 Biology II: Phylogeny, Structure, and Function
BI208 Island Ecology (May Term in the Bahamas, May odd years)
BI304 Developmental Biology
BI455 Methods of Biological Research
BI456 Student-Originated Research