September 2, 2015

Embryology: Concepts & Techniques in Modern Developmental Biology


Course Date: June 6 – July 19, 2015

Deadline: February 5, 2015 | Online Application Form

Course Website

2015 Lecture Schedule (PDF)

Directors: Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado, Stowers Institute for Medical Research; and Richard R. Behringer , University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center


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 the modern issues of developmental biology. Limited to 24 students.

The integrated lectures and laboratories provide a comprehensive coverage of the paradigms, problems, and technologies of modern developmental biology, cast within a framework of metazoan evolution. Students are exposed to a wide variety of embryonic systems, including intensively studied genetic model systems ( e.g. C. elegans , Drosophila , zebrafish mouse) and others with well-established experimental attributes ( e.g. chick, sea urchins, frogs, ascidians). In addition, students will be introduced to a wide range of emerging systems, including locally available marine organisms, that help fill in the evolutionary history of animal diversity ( e.g. cnidarians, nemerteans, planaria, crustaceans, mollusks, and annelids) and that are becoming established as experimental systems in their own right. This broad coverage of metazoan phylogeny allows for the analyses of the developmental strategies that drive evolutionary change. Analytical and experimental techniques used to explore invertebrate and vertebrate development include embryological manipulation (e.g. cell ablation, tissue grafting), molecular genetic ( e.g. RNAi, electroporation) and cell biology approaches ( e.g. analysis of cell lineage and migratory behaviour), and microscopic and imaging technologies (e.g. confocal and 3-D time lapse), using state-of-the-art instrumentation and methodology. Conceptual topics include cell specification and differentiation, pattern formation, embryonic axis formation, morphogenesis, intercellular signaling, transcriptional regulation, organogenesis, and modern comparative embryology.

2014 Course Faculty & Lecturers:

Abzhanov, Arkhat, Harvard University
Amacher, Sharon, Ohio State University
Baker, Clare, University of Cambridge
Bronner, Marianne, California Institute of Technology
Capel, Blanche, Duke University
Carroll, Sean, University of Wisconsin Madison
Collazo, Andres, California Institute of Technology
Cooley, Lynn, Yale University
Degnan, Bernie, University of Queensland
Galliot, Brigitte, University of Geneva
Gerhart, John, University of California, Berkeley
Hariharan, Iswar, University of California Berkeley
Harland, Richard, University of California Berkeley
Henry, Jonathan, University of Illinois
Keller, Raymond, University of Virginia
Knaut, Holger, New York University
Larina, Irina, Baylor College of Medicine
Maddox, Paul, University of North Carolina
Martindale, Mark, University of Florida
Mcclay, David, Duke University
Niswander, Lee, University of Colorado Denver
Ober, Elke, University of Copenhagen
Patel, Nipam, University of California Berkeley
Rokhsar, Daniel, University of California Berkeley
Ronshaugen, Matthew, University of Manchester
Rushlow, Christine, New York University
Seaver, Elaine, University of Florida
Seydoux, Geraldine, Johns Hopkins University
Shapiro, Michael, University of Utah
Sherwood, David, Duke University
Stern, Claudio, University College London
Streit, Andrea, King’s College London
Trainor, Paul, Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Wallingford, John, University of Texas Austin
Wikramanayake, Athula, University of Miami
Zeller, Robert, San Diego State University

This course is supported with funds provided by:

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
The Company of Biologists
Burrows Wellcome Fund
March of Dimes
Society for Developmental Biology