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Vanessa Barone: "Live Imaging of Marine Embryos: Illuminating Evo-Devo"

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Could it be that changes in the shape of embryos contribute to cell type evolution? How do we try to understand if this is the case? We just look! This talk will showcase how live imaging of marine embryos can help us understand how changes in the physical interactions between cells may affect cell differentiation and tissue patterning. See you there!

Vanessa Barone studied molecular biology at the University of Turin, Italy and then pursued her PhD in the Carl-Philipp Heisenberg group at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria in Vienna. There she investigated how cell-cell contacts regulate cell differentiation of mesendodermal progenitors during zebrafish gastrulation, finding a positive feedback loop between cell-cell contacts and Nodal signalling that determines cell fate decisions. This opened an evo-devo question: May regulatory interactions between cell adhesion and cell signalling underlie evolutionary changes in tissue patterning? To address this question, Dr. Barone moved to echinoderm embryos and joined Deirdre Lyons group at the University of California San Diego, where she is using the sea urchin and sea star embryos to investigate the role of cell-cell contacts in the evolution of mesendodermal tissue patterning


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