Christopher Hammell (Milton E. Cassel Scholar) attended the University of Georgia, where he received a B.S. degree in biochemistry. He then moved to Dartmouth Medical School, where he studied the mechanisms by which mRNA molecules are exported from the nucleus. After receiving his Ph.D., he began work with Victor Ambros at the University of Massachusetts, investigating how animals regulate the activity of microRNAs during development. He discovered a family of proteins, the TRIM-NHL family, that physically associate with and modulate the activity of the microRNA-induced silencing complex.
Hammell then began his independent research program at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where he switched his focus toward understanding how the temporal precision of developmental events is established. His current work centers on determining the regulatory architectures that ensure that developmental genes are turned on and off at the correct times.