The Department of Genetics, Development and Cell Biology Seminar for Tuesday, Sept. 12, will feature Dr. Kristen Kwan from The University of Utah. She will present “Cellular and Molecular Dynamics Shaping the Vertebrate Eye” on Sept. 12 at 4:10 p.m. in Room 1414 of the Molecular Biology Building. Dr. Kwan is an assistant professor of human genetics and adjunct assistant professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences.
Abstract: Precise and stereotyped 3-dimensional tissue structure, established during the process of morphogenesis, is essential for proper organ function. In the case of the eye, improper structural development can lead to visual impairment and blindness. Despite our increasing knowledge of pathways controlling the differentiation of many cell types in the eye, we still lack a basic understanding of the cell biological and developmental mechanisms controlling its morphogenesis. In the Kwan lab, we use a combination of 4-dimensional timelapse imaging, computational approaches, and zebrafish molecular genetics to determine the cellular and molecular basis for the morphogenesis of the optic cup. In this seminar, I will discuss two stories: the first will be about a role for the conserved Hedgehog signaling pathway in controlling the morphogenesis of a crucial eye structure, the choroid fissure; and the second will be about the role of the neural crest, an extrinsic migratory cell population, in directing optic cup morphogenesis via the extracellular matrix.
Refreshments served at 3:45 p.m. in the MBB Atrium.
Host: Jeffrey Trimarchi