• Congratulations to recent lab graduates on their new successes and ventures! Francisco Delgado, a former Research Associate in the lab, has entered medical school at the University of Pittsburgh and was awarded a major fellowship to support his training. Ayse Acikbas, a former undergraduate researcher, has joined the PhD program at OIST (Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology). Jaehyun Lee, another former undergraduate researcher, has started his training at Tufts University Medical School.
• A very warm welcome to Will Douglas, a new PhD student.
• The lab’s work on developmental gene regulatory networks was recognized by a 4-year, 1.2 million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation (“Analysis of a Model Developmental Gene Regulatory Network”). This award represents a continuation of more than 30 years of funding for the laboratory from the NSF. The lab also continues to be supported by 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 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 Dr. Jimmy Khor (and his co-authors!), whose genome-wide analysis of enhancer activity during early sea urchin development was published in Genomics Research (PDF).
• Congratulations to Dr. Jen Guerrero-Santoro (and her co-authors!), whose study on the DNA-binding behavior of Alx1, our favorite transcription factors, was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry (PDF).
• Chuck was invited to organize and edit a special volume of Current Topics in Developmental Biology entitled: “Gene Regulatory Mechanisms in Development and Evolution: Insights from Echinoderms.”
• The lab successfully developed new approaches for light-based control of gene expression in sea urchins and other echinoderms (PDF). This work was made possible through a collaboration with A. Bardhan and A. Deiters in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh.
• We continue to love writing reviews on various aspects of our work (PDF #1) (PDF #2).
• Dr. Toms Beatman’s work on a nomenclature system for echinoderm genes was recently accepted by Database and will be appearing very soon! His paper represents part of our work on Echinobase, the public repository of for genomic data related to sea urchins and other echinoderms (PDF).
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.