Ben Ewen-Campen: "Stem Cell Genes in Germ Cells and in Brains"
- 11/6/2014 |
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: Druckenmiller Hall, Room 020
Event Type: Seminar
Ben Ewen-Campen, Postdoctoral Candidate, Extavour Lab, Harvard University
Research in the Extavour lab is aimed at understanding the causes and consequences of evolutionary change in developmental processes. We are especially interested in those genes and developmental processes that direct cell fate specification in early embryogenesis. Our experimental work is primarily focused on the evolution and development of germ cells and reproductive systems in animals. Multicellularity evolved many times in eukaryotes, and in each instance, when cells of the multicellular aggregate first begin to adopt distinct fates, the first division of labor to arise is one that separates a reproductive lineage (the germ line) from a sterile lineage (the soma). A dedicated germ line is thus a profound novelty and critical feature of multicellular life. In sexually reproducing organisms, only the germ cells can contribute their genome to the next generation. Consequently, germ line specification and gonad function can have significant impacts on reproductive success and fitness.