Carol A. Erickson

Carol Erickson

Position Title
Distinguished Professor Emerita

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, College of Biological Sciences

3133 Life Sciences Addition

Research Interests

Our research focuses on the development of the avian trunk neural crest. We are particularly interested in the mechanisms that segregate the neural crest lineage from the neural epithelium, the mechanisms that guide specific neural crest lineages along different migratory pathways, and the control of neural crest cell differentiation. The laboratory uses a number of experimental approaches to address cellular and molecular aspects of neural crest development including: surgical manipulation, cell culture, in vitro embryo culture, in ovo electroporation of expression plasmids, and gene knockdown using antisense oligonucleotides and morpholinos.

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Comparative Pathology

Specialties / Focus

  • Differentiation, Morphogenesis and Wound Healing


  • MCB 258 Seminar in Development, Winter
  • MCB 259 Literature in Developmental Biology, Fall,Winter,Spring
  • MCB 145 Cell Signaling, Spring
  • MCB 213 Core Course in Developmental Biology, Winter


  • Erickson
    • Phil Spear, Jose Vilches-Moure

Honors and Awards

  • Phi Beta Kappa, 1971
  • Research Career Development Award (NIH), 1983-1988
  • Elected Fellow, AAAS, 2001

    Professional Societies

    • Society for Developmental Biology
    • Society for Cell Biology
    • American Society for the Advancement of Science


    • 1971 BA Biology Wilson College, Pennsylvania
    • 1976 PhD Cell Biology Yale University


    Kos, R, MV Reedy, RL Johnson and CA Erickson. 2001. The winged-helix transcription factor FoxD3 is important for establishing the neural crest lineage and repressing melanogenesis in avian embryos. Development 128:1467-1479

    Santiago A and CA Erickson. 2002. Ephrin-B ligands play a dual role in the control of neural crest cell migration. Development 129:3621-3632

    Kos, R, RP Tucker, R Hall, T Duong, and CA Erickson. 2003. Methods for Introducing Morpholinos into the Chicken Embryo. Developmental Dynamics 226: 470-477

    Delalande, J.M., Barlow, A.J., Thomas, A.J., Wallace, A.S., Thapar, N., Erickson, C.A., Burns, A.J., 2007. The receptor tyrosine kinase RET regulates hindgut colonization by sacral neural crest cells. Dev. Biol. 313:279.

    Harris, M.L., Erickson, C.A., 2007. Lineage specification in neural crest cell pathfinding. Dev. Dyn. 236, 1-19.

    Harris,M.L., Hall,R., and Erickson,C.A. (2008). Directing pathfinding along the dorsolateral path - the role of EDNRB2 and EphB2 in overcoming inhibition. Development 135, 4113- 4122.

    Thomas,A.J. and Erickson,C.A. (2009). FOXD3 regulates the lineage switch between neural crest-derived glial cells and pigment cells by repressing MITF through a non-canonical mechanism. Development 136, 1849-1858.

    Ahlstrom,J.D. and Erickson,C.A. (2009). The neural crest epithelial-mesenchymal transition in 4D: a ‘tail’ of multiple non-obligatory cellular mechanisms. Development 136, 1801-1812.

    Kuo, B.R. and Erickson, C.A. (2011) Vagal neural crest cell migratory behavior: a transition between the cranial and trunk crest. Dev. Dyn. 240, 2084-100.