April 11 2012
10:00 LSB 2320

This seminar is sponsored by Division of LIfe Sciences
Martin I. Garcia Castro
Yale University

Quest for the Early Crest


The neural crest (NC) is a fascinating population of cells unique to vertebrates that arise early in development, migrate extensively, and differentiate into a plethora of diverse derivatives. Abnormal NC development is responsible for a wide range of human health conditions, including frequent malformations, rare syndromes, and aggressive tumors. Understanding the molecular mechanisms that govern the formation and differentiation of the NC is therefore attractive to basic biologists and translational researchers alike. My laboratory is studying when, where, and how neural crest cells are generated. We are also studying the effect of these events in their differentiation potential. Finally, we are approaching mammalian NC development with the specific goal to contribute to human translational efforts. Here I will present some of our exciting findings. I will first address the benefits of the avian model system. Then I will focus on early events of NC development, before and during gastrulation, and on molecular studies of Pax7 function during NC development. Finally, I will present our investigations of early mammalian NC development through a logical progression from mouse, to rabbit, to human NC studies.