Debbie Brock (

Debbie Brock is a recent postdoctoral fellow who was first to discover that Dictyostelium discoideum has the ability to harvest bacteria within the sorus. She received her BS from University of Southern Mississippi in 1976 and her PhD from Rice University officially in May 2012. Upon graduating from college, she worked as a Research Assistant at one of the highest ranking cancer centers in the Unites States, MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston TX, until 1991. She then took a position as a research assistant at Rice University in Richard Gomer’s lab working with Dictyostelium discoideum where she concentrated on genetic and biochemical factors that influenced group size. In 2005 she began working in the Strassmann/Queller lab, first as a researcher, then as a graduate student. Part of her Ph.D. thesis was published in Nature, entitled Primitive agriculture in a social amoeba. She is currently extending her study of symbiotic interactions between bacteria and  D. discoideum  and running the lab group. In her spare time, she can be found playing with her granddaughter.

Recent Awards

2010 NSF DEB-1011513  Evolutionary costs and benefits of a newly discovered symbiosis between the social amoeba Dictyostelium, and bacteria. Dissertation Improvement Grant 06/01/10-11/30/11, $15,000

2008-9 Edgar O’Rear Travel Award (2009 International Symbiosis Society Congress)

2008-9 Dean of Sciences Graduate Student Travel Award (2009 International Symbiosis Society Congress)

2008-9 EEB Dept. Graduate Student Travel Award (2009 International Symbiosis Society Congress)


Brock, D.A., Douglas, T.E., Queller, D.C., Strassmann, J.E.  Primitive agriculture in a social amoeba. (2011) Nature 469, 393-396

Saxer, G., Brock, D.A., Strassmann, J.E., and Queller, D.C.  (2010) Cheating does not explain selective differences at high and low relatedness in a social amoeba.  BMC Evolutionary Biology 10:76

Brock, D.A., van Egmond, W.N., Shamoo, Y., Hatton, R.D., and Gomer, R.H.  (2006)  A 60-kilodalton protein component of the counting factor complex regulates group size in Dictyostelium discoideum.  Eukaryotic Cell 5, 1532-1538

Brock, D.A. and Gomer, R.H.  (2005)  A secreted factor represses cell proliferation in Dictyostelium.  Development 132, 4553-4562

Brock, D.A., Ehrenman, K., Ammann, R., Tang, Y., and Gomer, R.H. (2003) Two components of a secreted cell-number counting factor bind to cells and have opposing effects on cAMP signal transduction in Dictyostelium.  J. Biol. Chem. 278:  52262-52272

Brock, D.A., Hatton, R.D., Giurgiutiu, D-V, Scott, B., Jang, W., Ammann, R., and Gomer, R.H (2003)  CF45-1, a secreted protein which participates in group size regulation in Dictyostelium.  Eukaryotic Cell 2, 788-797.

Brock, D.A., Hatton, R.D., Giurgiutiu, D-V, Scott, B., Ammann, R., and Gomer, R.H. (2002) The different components of a multisubunit cell number-counting factor have both unique and overlapping functions.  Development 129, 3657-3668.

Brock, D.A. and Gomer, R.H.  (1999)  A cell-counting factor regulating structure size in Dictyostelium.  Genes & Development 13:1960-1969.

Brock, D.A., Buczynski, F., Spann, T.P., Wood, S.A., Cardelli, J., and Gomer, R.H. (1996) A Dictyostelium mutant with defective aggregate size determination.  Development 122:2569-2578.

Robberson, D.L., Calabretta, B., Barrera-Saldana, H.A., Somasundaram, T., Lambrou, T.P., Stubblefield, E., Yen, N., Brock, D.L., Peterson, C.A. and Saunders, G.F.  (1983)  Genome rearrangements and extrachromosomal circular DNAs in human cells.  Perspectives on Genes and the Molecular Biology of Cancer, pp. 51-80.