Embryology: Concepts & Techniques in Modern Developmental Biology

Course Information

Course Date: TBA

Deadline: TBA

2018 Lecture Schedule (PDF)

Directors: Rich Schneider, University of California San Francisco; and David Sherwood, Duke University

Course Description

An intensive six-week laboratory and lecture course for advanced graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and more senior researchers who seek a broad and balanced view of modern issues in developmental biology.  Limited to 24 students.

Established in 1893, the Embryology Course offers integrated lectures and laboratories that comprehensively cover the paradigms, problems, and technologies of modern developmental biology cast within a comparative framework of metazoan evolution. This course has a rich history of shaping the field with six students and eight faculty becoming Nobel Laureates, and many others being prominent leaders and pioneers.  Students are exposed to a wide variety of embryonic systems including well established and intensively studied models, both genetic (e.g., C. elegans, Drosophila, zebrafish, mouse) and experimental (e.g. chick, sea urchins, frogs, ascidians).  Students will also encounter a wide range of additional models that are equally important in their own right, including locally available marine organisms that help fill in the evolutionary history of animal diversity (e.g., cnidarians, nemerteans, planarians, crustaceans, mollusks, annelids, ctenophores).  This wide coverage of metazoan phylogeny allows for a close examination of developmental strategies and mechanisms that drive evolutionary change.  Hands-on analytical and experimental techniques used to explore invertebrate and vertebrate development involve embryological manipulation (e.g., cell ablation, tissue grafting) as well as molecular genetic (e.g., RNAi, electroporation) and cell biological approaches (e.g., analysis of cell lineage and migratory behavior).  Students will apply cutting-edge microscopy and imaging technologies (e.g., confocal and 3D time lapse) using state-of-the-art instrumentation, reagents, and methods.  Conceptual topics include cell specification and differentiation, pattern formation, embryonic axis formation, morphogenesis, intercellular signaling, transcriptional regulation, organogenesis, regeneration, evolutionary developmental biology, and comparative embryology.

2017 Course Faculty & Lecturers

Behringer, Richard, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Bradham, Cindy, Boston University
Brown, Bill, University of Miami
Cameron, Lisa, Duke University
Collazo, Andres, California Institute of Technology
Galliot, Brigette, University of Geneva
Gibson, Matt, Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Gillis, Andrew, University of Cambridge
Goldstein, Bob, UNC Chapel Hill
Grunwald, David, University of Utah
Harland, Richard, UC Berkley
Henry, Jonathan, University of Illinois
Hinman, Veronica, Carnegie Mellon University
Holland, Linda, Scripps/UC San Diego
Keller, Ray, University of Virginia
Lehman, Ruth, New York University
Leptin, Maria, EMBO/EMBL
Lowe, Chris, Stanford University
Maddox, Amy, UNC Chapel Hill
Matus, David, Stony Brook University
McClay, David, Duke University
Nelson, Celeste, Princeton University

Ober, Elke, University of Cophenhagen
Patel, Nipam, UC Berkley

Piotrowski, Tatjana, Stowers Institute for Medical Research

Pourquié, Olivier, Harvard University
Ronshaugen, Matt, University of Manchester

Sanchez Alvarado, Alejandro, Stowers Institute for Medical Research

Sauka-Spengler, Tatjana, University of Oxford
Schneider, Rich, UC San Francisco

Seaver, Elaine, Whitney Laboratory/University of Florida

Seydoux, Geraldine, Johns Hopkins University
Sherwood, David, Duke University
Smith-Bolton, Rachel, University of Illinois
Srivastava, Mansi, Harvard University
Stern, Claudio, University College London
Streit, Andrea, Kings College London
Trainor, Paul, Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Wallingford, John, University of Texas Austin
Wikramanayake, Athula, University of Miami
Zeller, Bob, San Diego State University

Course Support

This course is supported with funds and equipment provided by:

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Burroughs Wellcome Fund
March of Dimes
Society for Developmental Biology
Sutter Instrument

Special thanks to The Company of Biologists which provides a scholarship for Embryology course students and posts blogs, videos, and photos of the course on The Node.