Charles Benjamin Lovely
Dr. Ben Lovely is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at the University of Louisville, School of Medicine in Louisville, Kentucky. He received undergraduate degrees in Biology and Chemistry (2002) and a Ph.D. in Biology (2010) from the University of Louisville.
As a Ph.D. candidate, Dr. Lovely examined the role of MAP kinase signaling in response to environmental nitrogen levels during mating in the smut fungus, Ustilago maydis. Through this work, he became interested in the interaction between genetic and environmental factors and their impact on cell behaviors. In 2010, he joined the lab of Johann Eberhart at the University of Texas at Austin as post-doctoral research fellow to use zebrafish as the system to explore these concepts. Focusing on alcohol as the environmental factor, Dr. Lovely studied the genetics of the craniofacial defects in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). While in Austin, he identified gene-alcohol interactions in the Bone Morphogenetic Protein (Bmp) signaling pathway that disrupt formation of the jaw and palate.
Dr. Lovely received a K99 Pathway to Independence Award from the NIH, and in 2018 was recruited as an Assistant Professor at the University of Louisville, School of Medicine. His current research program is exploring multiple avenues of research relating to the genetics of FASD, including the mechanistic basis of gene-alcohol interactions and how these interactions disrupt both the cell behaviors / tissue interactions as well as transcriptomic landscape underlying craniofacial development.