The School of Science and Department of Biology at TCNJ are honored to host Nobel Laureate Dr. Eric F. Wieschaus for our Fall 2012 Colloquium Series.
“Genetic Control and the Mechanics of Embryo Development”
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
12:00 – 1:00 pm (Reception to follow)
Education Building, Room 212
During development, cells in an embryo face two major tasks. First they must be programmed to form specific parts of the body, and second they must realize those fates by altering their shape, position and patterns of gene expression. In the past 20 years, a great deal has been learned about these genes in the fruit fly Drosophila and we now have a good picture of how that organism develops. Genes that establish the basic body plan of the embryo have been identified, as well as genes that control the activity of the biological motors that move cells and alter cell shape. The availability of DNA sequences and the remarkable similarity among all animal species has made it possible to extrapolate from the work on fruit flies to an understanding of how genes control specific cell behavior in humans. Flies and humans not only share genes, but use similar mechanisms to move cells in development and to control cell invasiveness in cancers. From studies on Drosophila embryos we can speculate on understanding development in higher organisms.
About Dr. Eric F. Wieschaus
Eric F. Wieschaus, PhD is the co-winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and a Squibb Professor in Molecular Biology and Professor of Molecular Biology at the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University. His groundbreaking work elucidating the genetic control of embryonic development has focused on one of the most commonly studied model systems, Drosophila melanogaster (generally known as the fruit fly).