• A very warm welcome to two Research Associates- Francisco Delgado and Dr. Thomas Beatman.
• Congratulations to Dr. (!) Jimmy (Jian Ming) Khor, who successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis in August. Fortunately for everyone in the lab, Jimmy will be staying on as a postdoctoral fellow.
• The lab continues to be supported by a three-year, $800,000 grant (“Analysis of a Model Developmental Gene Regulatory Network”) from the National Science Foundation (NSF), a 4-year, 2.3 million dollar R24 award from the National Institutes of Health (“A Resource for Developmental Regulatory Genomics”) (V. Hinman, co-PI; RA Cameron and A Deiters, co-investigators), and a five-year, 3 million dollar P41 award from the National Institutes of Health (“Extended Echinobase: a Community Genomics Resource for the Future”) (V. Hinman and P. Vize, co-PIs). The NSF award represents a continuation of more than 28 years of funding for our laboratory from the NSF. The NIH R24 award supports the development of experimental resources for the study of the genomic basis of embryonic development, using the sea urchin as a model system. The NIH R24 award supports Echinobase, the principal database and public website for echinoderm genomic data.
• Congratulations to Drs. Khor and Santoro, whose genome-wide analysis of Alx1 targets was published in Development (PDF).
• Chuck was an invited, plenary speaker at the 15th International Conference on Biomineralization in Munich, Germany.
• The lab published an exciting new paper in PLOS Biology that examined cell type evolution and the control of embryonic cell fates by competition for a signaling ligand (PDF). This paper was highlighted by The Node, an online community website for developmental biologists.
• Best of luck to Dr. Kate Buckley, who left the lab to begin a tenure-track position at Auburn University.
• The lab contributed two papers to a volume of Methods in Cell Biology devoted to sea urchins and other echinoderms (PDF) and (PDF)
• The lab received supplemental funding from the NIH to obtain a state-of-the-art microinjection workstation. This will have a major impact on our work by facilitating the introduction of DNA constructs (BACs and plasmids), mRNAs, lineage tracers, CRISPR reagents, and other molecules into fertilized eggs.
• Congratulations to recent lab graduates on their new successes: Nathalie Chen (former undergraduate researcher) has been accepted into the MD/PhD program at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Tanvi Shashikant will be moving from McKinsey and Company to Ginkgo Bioworks, a biotechnology company. Dr. Ashrifia Adomako-Ankomah has started a new position at Palladian Partners, a science communication company.
Welcome to the Ettensohn lab! We are a collection of molecular biologists, bioinformaticians, and developmental biologists. Our shared interest is in the genetic and cellular mechanisms that underlie embryonic development. Our research program, now in its 30th year, is currently focused on the architecture, regulation, and function of gene regulatory networks in embryogenesis.
The embryonic skeleton. This pluteus larva was immunostained with monoclonal antibody 6a9, which highlights the skeletal rods and associated skeleton-secreting cells. The 3D reconstruction was generated from a confocal image stack using Vaa3D software.