October 24, 2014

Zebrafish Development and Genetics

zebra_collage

Course Directors: Corinne Houart, Kings College, UK; and Michael Granato, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Over the past 20 years, the zebrafish has emerged as a powerful model system for the study of vertebrate development and disease. This intensive two-week course for advanced graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and independent investigators will focus on the development and genetics of zebrafish. The course will cover time proven as well as novel technologies geared towards their application in zebrafish. Mornings and afternoons will be devoted mainly to laboratory exercises and the evenings to lectures and discussion. Limited to 22 students.

Lectures and labs will introduce students to early development of the zebrafish and to methods for manipulating and studying gene function, including genetic and small molecule screening, mapping and cloning; mRNA overexpression and functional knockdown approaches; cell fate mapping; mounting and imaging of antibody and in situ samples for publication ready documentation. In addition, students will be introduced to techniques for labeling and visualizing individual cells, including photoconversion, cell transplantation/chimera analysis, and live cell imaging. They will also learn how to perform behavioral tests on live animals. Several informal ‘roundtable’ discussions will cover the design and execution of mutant screens/reverse genetics, transgenesis, zebrafish breeding and husbandry, as well as data management and figure construction.

Each laboratory exercise will be under the supervision of a senior faculty member who will be assisted by one or two junior faculty members. Senior faculty will also give research lectures about their work and lead discussions about topics and concepts covered in the course.