Nicole Evans, Ph.D.

Niki Evans, Ph.D.

Office: Gyte 284
Telephone: (219) 989-2738

 Research Interests:

My research focuses on a fundamental aspect of genetics – differential gene expression, a process by which each cell expresses a unique subset of its genes at the correct time and in the correct location.  This process is regulated in part by a group of cis-regulatory genomic sequences known as enhancers.  Enhancers are sequences of DNA which generally do not code for protein, but rather control when, where, and how much a gene expressed through interaction with specific transcription factors.  These sequences have been identified in all examined forms of life: viruses, bacteria, yeast, multicellular animals and plants all use this strategy to control gene expression. However, our knowledge of enhancer action remains far from complete.  For example, we do not fully understand the rules that govern the structure and function of these DNA elements.  We also do not know what combinations of biochemical activities sufficient for enhancer action.  My research seeks to elucidate some of these gaps in our current knowledge of enhancer action.


  • Ph.D. Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 2012
  • B.S. Biology emphasis in Cell and Molecular Biology and Genetics, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan, 2005

Professional Society Memberships

  • Society of Developmental Biology 2012-2015
  • Genetics Society of America 2010-Present
  • American Society of Developmental Biology 2004-2006
  • Association for Biological Laboratory Education 2014- Present


Evans, N.C., Swanson, C.I., Barolo, S., sparkling insights to enhancer sparkling Insights into Enhancer Structure, Function, and Evolution. Transcriptional Switches During Development (CTDB Vol. 98) February 2012

Swanson, C.I., Evans, N.C., Barolo, S., Structural Rules and Complex Regulatory Circuitry Constrain Expression of a Notch- & EGFR Regulated Eye Enhancer. Dev Cell. 2010, 18(3): 359-370  *Selected as a “Must Read” by Faculty of 1000 Biology and Science “Editors’ Choice,” 16 April 2010.

Lindvall, C., Zylstra, C.R., Evans, N., West, R.A., Dykema, K., Furge, K.A., Williams, B.O., The Wnt co-receptor Lrp6 is required for normal mouse mammary gland development. PLoS One. 2009, 4(6)e5813

Lindvall, C., Evans, N.C., Zylstra, C.R., Li, Y., Alexander, C.M., Williams, B.O., The Wnt signaling receptor Lrp5 is required for mammary ductal stem cell activity and Wnt1-induced tumorigenesis. J. Biol Chem. 2006, 281(46):35081-7



  • BIOL 10200 – Introductory Biology
  • BIOL 24400 – Genetics
  • BIOL 49500 – Experimental Design
  • BIOL 50700 – Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 59500 – Medical Genetics