Embryology: Concepts & Techniques in Modern Developmental Biology


Course Date: June 4 – July 17, 2016

Deadline: February 1, 2016 | Apply here

Course Website

2015 Lecture Schedule (PDF)

Vote for your favorite video! MBL Embryology Course Video Competition at the Node

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.

2015 Course Faculty & Lecturers:

Amacher, Sharon, The Ohio State University
Arendt, Detlev, European Molecular Biology Laboratory
Blum, Nicola, University of Bayreuth
Bronner, Marianne, California Institute of Technology
Camacho, Jasmin, Harvard University
Collazo, Andres, California Institute of Technology
Costa Vicente, Catarina, The Company of Biologists
Cota, Christina, Swarthmore College
Degnan, Bernard, University of Queensland
Gibson, Matt, Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Grunwald, David, University of Utah
Lehmann, Ruth, NYU School of Medicine/HHMI
Leptin, Maria, The European Molecular Biology Organization
Hariharan, Iswar, University of California Berkeley
Harland, Richard, University of California Berkeley
Henry, Jonathan, University of Illinois
Keller, Raymond, University of Virginia
Lowe, Chris, Stanford University
Maddox, Amy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Maddox, Paul, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Martindale, Mark, University of Florida
Matus, David, Stony Brook University
Mcclay, David, Duke University
Niswander, Lee, University of Colorado
Ober, Elke, University of Copenhagen
Patel, Nipam, University of California Berkeley
Piotrowski, Tatjana, Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Rokhsar, Daniel, University of California
Ronshaugen, Matthew, University of Manchester
Seaver, Elaine, University of Florida
Seydoux, Geraldine, Johns Hopkins University
Sherwood, David, Duke University
Sogabe, Shunsuke, The University of Queensland
Stern, Claudio, University College London
Streit, Andrea, King’s College London
Trainor, Paul, Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Truchado Garcia, Marta, University of Illinois
Wallingford, John, University of Texas
Wikramanayake, Athula, University of Miami
Yu, Jr-Kai, Academia Sinica
Zakas, Christina, New York 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
Burrows Wellcome Fund
March of Dimes
Society for Developmental Biology