Courses: Senior Research Tutorial on The Control of Cell Shape: Molecular & Evolutionary Approaches (BIOLH411I01)
All embryos undergo a series of highly elaborate cell movements to produce their final shape and form. Understanding the molecular basis of these movements provides important insight into the underlying molecular mechanisms, and enables us to ask how changes in these mechanisms give rise to differences between organisms. Students therefore approach this subject from both molecular and evolutionary perspectives. Using the fruit fly as a model system, we are looking inside cells to ask how intricate changes to the cytoarchitecture of individual cells drive movements of entire layers of cells. We hope to further understand how these same developmental processes go awry in situations of human disease (e.g. cancer metastasis). We are also examining cell movements in a variety of insects to ask how the developmental mechanisms themselves evolve and change. Projects draw on a variety of techniques including cell and molecular biology, embryology, genetics, genomics and cell imaging. Laboratory work is supplemented by readings from the current literature.
Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.
Fulfills: NA II