CIRM Scholar Nareg Djabrayan, working with MCDB Professor Joel Rothman, found that the well known Notch signaling pathway causes C. elegans cells to commit to a particular identity, such as a skin or brain cell. When the Notch pathway was blocked by genetic manipulation, the researchers discovered that they could force cells to change their destiny, such that they instead became cells of the intestine. Reprogramming of one somatic cell type to another might be useful in strategies for regeneration of tissue damaged by injury or disease. Results were reported in the November 1 issue of Genes and Development. Nate Dudley and Erica Sommermann were also authors on the study.