Dr. Kristen Kwan: The University of Utah assistant professor of human genetics and adjunct assistant professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences
Title: Cellular and Molecular Dynamics Shaping the Vertebrate Eye
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 will be served prior to the GDCB Seminar at 3:45 p.m.
Host: Jeff Trimarchi