My primary research interests are in the development and study of marine animal models of disease processes, with an emphasis on cancer. Ongoing research includes a combination of laboratory and field studies to investigate the causative agents, distribution and mechanisms of carcinogenesis of naturally occurring, transmissible tumors in one species of fish on South Florida reefs. These tumors involve the peripheral nervous system and pigment cells of the bicolor damselfish. A variety of techniques including molecular biology, virology, tissue culture, experimental manipulations of tumors in vivo, electron microscopy and immunocytochemistry are being used to determine mechanisms responsible for transformation of cells to a cancerous phenotype and for transmission of tumors.
Research is also underway in my laboratory to develop and apply techniques for transgenic manipulations of fish and invertebrates. These studies are presently focused on using the zebrafish as a model for studies of gene therapy. Other research interests include immune responses in fishes and behavioral ecology of fishes
Schmale, M.C., P.D.L. Gibbs and C.E. Campbell (2002) A virus-like agent associated with neurofibromatosis in damselfish. Diseases Aquatic Org. 49:107-115.
Campbell, C.E. and M.C. Schmale (2001) Distribution of a novel infectious agent in healthy and tumored bicolor damselfish in Florida and the Caribbean. Marine Biology 139:777-786.
Campbell, C.E., P.D.L. Gibbs and M.C. Schmale (2001) Progression of infection and tumor development in damselfish. Marine Biotechnology 3:S107-S114
Gibbs, P.D.L. & M.C. Schmale (2000) GFP as a genetic marker scorable throughout the lifecycle of transgenic zebrafish. Marine Biotechnology 2:107-125.
Corrales, J., L.B. Nye, S.D. Baribeau, G. Gassman & M.C. Schmale. (2000) Characterization of scale abnormalities in pinfish, Lagodon rhomboides, from Biscayne Bay, Florida. Environ. Biol. Fishes 57:205-220.