About Kristi LaMonica

Dr. Kristi LaMonica is an assistant professor in the Department of Biology & Health Sciences. She completed her Ph.D. in Biology at Wesleyan University studying cell migration. Dr. LaMonica was a post-doctoral researcher for 5 years at University of Denver – Anschutz Medical campus studying gene expression in craniofacial development in zebrafish. Her current research interests include investigating the roles of Planar Cell Polarity/Wnt pathway ligands in oriented migration of parietal endoderm using a stem cell model system. Migration of parietal endoderm is the first long range migratory event in the mammalian embryo and forms the yolk sac, which is critical to support the early embryo.  Understanding cell migration is important since it is necessary for overall embryonic development and general maintenance of an organism (wound healing). Understanding how migration occurs normally in a variety of cell types can also give us insight into the aberrant migration that occurs during cancer metastasis. Dr. LaMonica is currently the Program Director in Troy for the Biology programs at Russell Sage College.

“I like teaching at Sage because…

…we have really fantastic students here at Russell Sage College. Our students are engaged and participate in discussions in the classroom. They ask questions in lab and really take ownership of their experiments whether it be in General Biology or Molecular Genetics. They are really invested in the learning process and scientific method and it always makes me proud to see their excitement at the end of Molecular Genetics when we finish our semester long experiment.”


“My favorite teaching moment was…

…an outside the classroom moment where I overheard a student talking about the genes and signaling in the paper she presented in Seminar in Biology to her group in a different lab. The paper was outside her comfort zone at first and it was awesome to watch her grow to be comfortable enough (and excited) to talk about what she was learning with colleagues!”

“Courses I like to teach include…

General Biology, Fundamentals of Genetics, Molecular Genetics, Seminar in Biology, and Neurobiology – I truly enjoy all the courses I teach!”

Selected Publications

LaMonica, Kristi, Ding, Hai-lei, and Artinger, Kristin Bruk prdm1a Functions Upstream of itga5in Zebrafish Craniofacial Development. Genesis 2015: 270-277

Powell, Davalyn R., Hernandez-Lagunas, Laura, LaMonica, Kristi and Artinger, Kristin Bruk. Prdm1a directly activated foxd3and tfap2a during zebrafish neural crest specification. Development 2013 Aug; 140(16):3445-55

Nathaniel W Hartman, Joseph E Carpentino, Kristi LaMonica, Danielle E Mor, Janice R Naegele and Laura Grabel. CXCL12-Mediated Guidance of Migrating Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Neural Progenitors Transplanted into the Hippocampus. PLoS One. 2010 December: e15856

Kristi LaMonica and Laura Grabel. The Planar Cell Polarity Pathway and Parietal Endoderm Cell Migration. Methods Mol Biol. 2012;839:187-200

Kristi LaMonica, Maya Bass, and Laura Grabel. The Planar Cell Polarity Pathway Directs Parietal Endoderm Migration. Dev Biol. 2009 June 1; 330(1): 44-53

Evan Mills, Kristi LaMonica, Tao Hong, Thomas Pagliaruli, James Mulrooney, and Laura Grabel. Roles for Rho/ROCK and Vinculin in Parietal Endoderm Migration. Cell Communication and Adhesion, 2005 Jan-Apr;12(1-2):9-22.

Mohit Neema, Ivan Navarro-Quiroga, Magdalena Chechlacz, Karen Gilliams-Francis, Jia Liu, Kristi LaMonica, Stanley Lin, and Janice R. Naegele. DNA Damage and Non-Homologous End Joining in Excitotoxicity: Neuroprotective Role of DNA-PKcs in Kainic Acid-Induced Seizures. Hippocampus. 2005;15(8):1057-71


Interactions between prdm1a and integrin α5 during neural crest differentiation.  Kristi LaMonica and Kristin Artinger, Society for Developmental Biology Southwest Regional Meeting, Denver, CO, March 2014

Towards Understanding the prdm1a Gene Regulatory Network in Danio rerio, Kristi LaMonica and Kristin Artinger, 69th Annual Meeting, Society for Developmental Biology, Albuquerque, NM, August 2010

Parietal endoderm migration is directed by the planar cell polarity pathway, Kristi LaMonica, Maya Bass, Laura Grabel, Poster Presentation, 67th Annual Meeting, Society for Developmental Biology, Philadelphia, PA, July 2008

The planar cell polarity pathway regulates parietal endoderm outgrowth, Kristi LaMonica, Maya Bass, Laura Grabel, 66th Annual Meeting, 1st pan-American Congress in Developmental Biology, Cancun, Mexico, June 2007