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In vivo imaging as a bridge between molecular, cellular and tissue level data in embryonic vertebrate development

Date: 
Wednesday 26th September 2001 - 14:30 to 15:30
Venue: 
INI Seminar Room 1
Session Title: 
Vertical Integration in Biology: From Molecules to Organisms
Abstract: 
One of the beautiful aspects of embryonic developmental is the sculpting of cells and tissue into functioning structures. Although the recent explosion of molecular data has provided tremendous insight into the machinery underlying the sculpting processes, it is a major challenge to coordinate molecular and cellular data in dynamic systems. The next steps of determining the function of genes will rely on our ability to create a framework to visualize and analyze cell movements, cell signaling and gene expression in living systems in 2 and 3 dimensions. To approach this, we are using in vivo imaging as a bridge between the levels of the biology and between experiment and theoretical modeling. We have developed techniques to trace and analyze fluorescently labeled cell movements and study cell signaling dynamically in living chick and mouse embryos. To more accurately coordinate gene expression patterns with morphological changes, we use time-lapse imaging to pinpoint the location of cells at critical times during a process before fixing the embryo and comparing the pattern of gene expression to cell positions. An excellent model system to study the interaction of rapid changes in gene expression and morphology is the segmentation of tissue into somites and we will present data from our studies in chick. We will also present work from a new project investigating blood formation and cardiovascular development in mouse.
University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons