Science Faculty

Christopher Brey, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
570-348-6211 x2544
Office Location: CNHS 331
Office Hours: Office Hours May Vary by Semester. Please email Dr. Brey to make an appointment.


  • B.S. University of Wisc-Milwaukee, Zoology
  • M.S. South Dakota State University, Microbiology and Biology
  • Ph.D. Montana State University, Entomology and Plant Science
  • Postdoc. Res. Assoc. Rutgers University, Genetic engineering entomopathogenic nematodes
  • Postdoc. Res. Assoc. Penn State University, Entomopathogenic nematode immunosuppression


● BIOL 302/502 Bioinformatics ● BIOL 383/583 Emerging Medicine & Technologies ● BIOL 446/546 Genetics ● BIOL 234 Intro. to Cell Molecular Biology & Nutrigenomics ● BIOL 520 Graduate Literature Review ● BIOL 150/151 General Biology Lab


Teaching Interests: Genetics, Bioinformatics Biotechnology and Molecular Biology


Fields of interest
Genetics and Genomics, Cell and Molecular Biology, Bacteriophages


Genetic analysis of disrupted fat metabolism in C. elegans
My lab studies the genetic mechanisms of dysfunctional lipid metabolism that lead to obesity-associated metabolic syndromes. Because of its important role in mammalian lipid metabolism, I study the Krüppel-like zinc finger transcription factor (klfs) family in Caenorhabditis elegans. There are 17 different klfs in humans compared to only three in the worm making the worm model system ideal to study. Among 17 members in humans, eight of the KLFs regulate adipogenesis with pro-adipogenic and anti-adipogenic functions, suggesting their critical roles in controlling the dynamics of lipid metabolism. In addition, many of the fat regulatory genes found in mammalians are homologous to C. elegans. Use of the model nematode C. elegans provides an excellent opportunity to study the pathogensis of the genetic interaction and regulation of the fat metabolic pathway in an organism amenable to functional genomic, genetic, histochemical and cell biological analysis. We use a variety of approaches including: transgenesis in C. elegans; reverse genetic screening (e.g.RNAi) and molecular cloning analyses of gene expression by in situ hybridization, histochemistry and qPCR.  Currently my lab is focusing on the following topics: (1) promoter analysis of klf-1 transcription factor and (2) elucidation of the genetic interaction of klf1 and klf3 to insulin and fat associated genes in C. elegans.


 Fig. Analysis of klf-2 expression with GFP reporter during C. elegans development. A) the structure of klf-2 gene; B) the klf-2::gfp reporter gene construct; C) the fluorescence microscopic images of klf-2 expression in the intestine: photographed using Axioskop 2 plus fluorescent microscope (Zeiss, Germany) with appropriate filter sets for GFP (magnification: 200X). (Jun et al., 2017)


Physiological and genomic characterization of bacteriophages
In 2016 my lab joined the Science Education Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Sciences (SEA-PHAGES) program administered jointly with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and University of Pittsburgh. Our labs primary goal is to isolate novel bacteriophages and test their host range in other Actinobacteria.  In addition, we are also interested in exploring host defense mechanism in confirmed lysogens and bacteriophage genomics.  Lysogen’s are bacteria that have integrated a bacteriophage’s genetic material into its genome thereby providing it with immunity to superinfection from secondary bacteriophages.


 Fig.  Electronmicrograph of bacteriophage Faze9 cluster B2.


 Selected Publications
Ling J, Brey C, Schilling** M, Lateef F, Lopez-Dee ZP, Fernandes K, Thiruchelvam K, Wang  Y, Chandel K, Rau K, Parhar R, Al-Mohanna F, Gaugler R, and S Hashmi. (2017). Defective lipid metabolism associated with mutation in klf-2 and klf-3: important roles of essential dietary salts in fat storage. Nutrition & Metabolism 14:(22) 1-11.

Fleischacker  CL, Segura-Totten M, SEA-PHAGES, Garlena RA, Jacobs-Sera D, Pope WH, Russell DA, and GF Hatfull. (2017) Genome Sequence of Mycobacterium Phage CrystalP. (Submitted to Genome Announcements, 2017)  (SEA-PHAGES 2016 Bioinformatics Workshop Participant)

Zhang, J, C Yang, CW Brey, M Rodriguez, Y Oksov, R Gaugler, E Dickstein, C-H Haung and S. Hashmi. (2009). Mutation in Caenorhabditis elegans Krüppel-like factor, KLF-3 results in fat accumulation and alters fatty acid composition. Exp Cell Res 315: 2568-4580.

Brey CW, MP Nelder, T Hailemariam, R. Gaugler and S Hashmi. (2009). Krüppel-like family of transcription factors: an emerging new frontier in fat biology. Intern J of Biol Sci 5: 622-636.

Hashmi, S, J Qiongmei, J Zhang, RS Parhar, M Rodriguez, M Huang, CW Brey and R Gaugler. (2008). A Krüppel-like factor in Caenorhabditis elegans with essential roles in fat regulation, cell death and/or phagocytosis.  DNA and Cell Biology 27(10): 545-551 (C. elegan's photo expressing gfp was selected for the cover Nov. 10, 2008 issue).


**Marywood student



  • Pennsylvania Academy of Sciences
  • Lehigh Valley Molecular & Cell Biology Society
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Genetic Society of America
  • Council on Undergraduate Research


Updated 23 Aug 2017