OEB Seminar Series: Veronica F. Hinman


Thursday, January 27, 2022, 3:30pm

Veronica F. Hinman
Department Head
Dr. Frederick A. Schwertz Distinguished Professor of Life Sciences
Carnegie Mellon University

Mechanism of regeneration of seastar larvae

Abstract: The ability to restore lost body parts following traumatic injury is a fascinating area of biology that challenges current understanding of the ontogeny of differentiation.  The origin of new cells needed to regenerate lost tissue, and whether they are pluripotent stem cells, tissue-specific stem cells or have de- or trans-differentiated, remains one of the most important open questions in regeneration.  Additionally, it is not clearly known whether developmental gene regulatory networks (GRNs) are reused to direct specification in these cells or whether regeneration-specific networks are deployed. Echinoderms, including sea stars, have an extensive ability for regeneration.  We have shown that the sea star larval serotonergic nervous system can regenerate following decapitation. Using a variety of approaches, including gene expression analyses, cell death and cell proliferation assays, and a BAC-transgenesis photoconvertible fluorescent proteins, we show how cells are reset to give rise to new tissues needed to regenerate their nervous system and how GRNs are deployed. I will also describe our understanding of seastar regeneration relative to what is known from vertebrates, and protostome invertebrates and discuss whether common mechanisms and molecules are used across the metazoa.

Host: Professor Mansi Srivastava

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