Comparative Developmental Biology
A lab-intensive short course for graduate students and post-docs
Learn more about Educational Opportunities at the MBL
Squid, zebrafish, fly, and Nematostella images from the students of the 2022 course.
Squid, zebrafish, fly, and Nematostella images from the students of the 2022 course.

Overview

Comparative Developmental Biology is an intensive two-week laboratory course for graduate students in year two of their studies or beyond and post-docs, who seek a broad training in experimental approaches to developmental questions across diverse study organisms.

Course Date: October 6-20, 2024
Application due date: July 26, 2024

Course description:

This intensive comparative developmental biology course is designed for graduate students in their second or later year of Ph.D studies and post-docs. The two weeklong course will provide exposure to a combination of well-established and emerging developmental systems. Students will develop advanced experimental embryology skills秘色视频攎any of which are transferable across organisms秘色视频攊n the handling and cellular/genetic manipulation of embryos, including microinjection, lineage tracing, microdissection, cell transplantation, in situ hybridization, CRISPR/Cas mutagenesis, and 3D in vivo imaging. Students will develop an enhanced appreciation of the advantages each species offers, will be trained to think more comparatively (in a phylogenetic context), and will gain an appreciation of how best to select the appropriate species to address a specific question. They will be exposed to classic, recent, and developing methodologies and techniques and will learn about exciting ongoing research using these approaches. Developing and completing a short independent or team-based research project will enhance skills in hypothesis generation and experimental design.

Financial Information

Cost: $4000.00 including room and board
Please Note: Financial Aid is not offered for this course

Course Objectives

During this two-week course, students will gain hands-on familiarity with a range of traditional and emerging model systems in developmental biology.聽 They will gain experience in microscopy, image acquisition and analysis, as well as in embryological, pharmacological, and molecular genetic approaches to address key questions in development and regeneration.聽 Students will understand the specific advantages of each model system, gain insights into the types of problem that are currently being researched in each model, and gain experience with key cross-cutting techniques such as CRISPR/Cas mutagenesis, lineage tracing, and in situ hybridization.聽 Students will also enhance their hypothesis building and experimental design and analysis skills through weeklong independent or small-team projects.

The following models are expected to be available in 2024: Zebrafish, Drosophila, Parhyale hawaiensis, Butterfly, Nematostella, Squid, and Skate.

Email for more information

Course Directors:

Nipam Patel
Patel Research Graphic

Nipam Patel

MBL Director

My lab works to uncover both developmental and evolutionary mechanisms in a variety of animals that help us understand the generation of biodiversity, with a recent focus on the crustacean,聽Parhyale, and several species of butterflies.聽 We use聽Parhyale聽to understand the role of Hox genes and other developmental genes in building and evolving body plans and also investigate the mechanisms that allows this species to regenerate its germline.聽 With butterflies, we are working to discover how single scale cells create the impressive nanostructures they use for structural coloration, without which they would be greatly restricted in the pallet of colors available to them.

Vicky Prince
Migration of the zebrafish cranial neural crest
Migration of the zebrafish cranial neural crest.

Vicky Prince

Professor, Organismal Biology & Anatomy, University of Chicago

At the Prince lab we take a cellular, molecular, and comparative approach to the study of developmental processes. Our research program uses rapidly developing, transparent秘色视频攁nd very beautiful秘色视频攅mbryos of the zebrafish,聽Danio rerio.聽 Zebrafish embryos are ideal for high resolution live imaging approaches, and these techniques are helping us to understand dynamic cellular processes that build complex structures during embryonic development秘色视频攅specially of the nervous system and cranial structures. Our imaging experiments are complemented by the use of increasingly powerful molecular genetic and transgenic tools, such as CRISPR/Cas technology, which allow us to interrogate the molecular basis of developmental processes. Please take a look around our pages to learn more about our ongoing studies.聽

Course Faculty:

Caroline Albertin
Expression of two hox genes in the squid Doryteuthis pealeii.
Expression of two hox genes in the squid Doryteuthis pealeii.

Caroline Albertin

Assistant Scientist, Bell Center

The Albertin lab studies how novelty arises over the course of evolution and embryogenesis using cephalopods as models. We employ diverse approaches, including comparative genomics, gene expression studies, and live imaging, with a focus on understanding (i) molecular patterning of cephalopod body plans, (ii) cellular and molecular events in cephalopod neurogenesis, (iii) the evolution of the cephalopod fate map and developmental program, and (iv) developing new molecular tools and approaches to enable research in cephalopods.

Karen Echeverri
Axolotl
An Axolotl at MBL.

Karen Echeverri

Associate Scientist, Bell Center

The ability to regenerate complex tissue has fascinated scientists for a long time. The Echeverri lab is interested in the cell and molecular mechanisms driving regeneration. We study regeneration in axolotls; salamanders well known for their ability to functionally regenerate multiple body parts, including limbs, tail, heart, eyes and jaw and in addition can repair lesions in the brain and heal all wounds without forming scar tissue. My group uses cell and molecular tools combined with聽in vivo聽imaging and genomics approaches to decipher the key circuitry and cellular mechanisms that are essential to promote functional regeneration.

About Karen's work

Andrew Gillis
An early skate embryo, with the different embryonic tissues segmented and false-colored for illustrative purposes.
An early skate embryo, with the different embryonic tissues segmented and false-colored for illustrative purposes.

Andrew Gillis

Associate Scientist, Bay Paul Center

The Gillis Lab聽studies embryonic development of the skeletal, sensory, and neuroendocrine systems of vertebrate animals. Our work uses a comparative approach and a diverse array of emerging and established model organisms to reconstruct the origin and early evolution of the vertebrate body plan. Current lines of research include聽1)聽development, growth and repair of the vertebrate skeleton,聽2)聽serial homology and the origin of anatomical novelty, and聽3)聽the evolution of neuroendocrine cell type diversity.