Embryology: Concepts and Techniques in Modern Developmental Biology
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.
The Embryology Course is 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. Enrollment is 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: six students and eight faculty have become Nobel Laureates, and numerous others have emerged as prominent leaders and pioneers. The over 40 teaching faculty members, all leaders in their respective fields, deliver lectures, lead discussions, and oversee laboratory sections.
The course introduces students to a wide variety of embryonic systems. These include established models such as fruit flies, nematodes, zebrafish, mice, chickens, sea urchins, frogs, ascidians, and planaria, as well as emerging marine invertebrate models like cnidarians, nemerteans, acoels, crustaceans, cephalopods, annelids, hemichordates, and ctenophores. This extensive coverage of metazoan phylogeny allows for a thorough examination of developmental strategies and mechanisms that drive evolutionary change. The hands-on analytical and experimental techniques employed to explore invertebrate and vertebrate development include embryological manipulation (e.g., cell ablation, tissue grafting) and molecular genetic (e.g., CRISPR/Cas9, RNAi, electroporation) and cell biological approaches (e.g., analysis of cell lineage and migratory behavior). As a result, students receive training in applying cutting-edge microscopy and imaging technologies using the latest instrumentation, reagents, and methods. The curriculum encompasses molecular, genetic, and cellular approaches to studying animal development, stem cell biology, regenerative biology, quantitative biophysical methods, and genomics, all taught within a comparative framework of animal evolution.