Beckman Symposium 2013 - Growth Control Across Kingdoms

Comparing Growth Control in Plants & Animals

October 14, 2013 | Berg Hall - Li Ka Shing Center

Program Schedule

9:00 - 9:15 AM

Lucy Shapiro, Stanford University

Roel Nusse, Stanford University

Director of Beckman Center

2013 Beckman Symposium Co-Chair, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, Professor of Developmental Biology

Opening Remarks

Opening Remarks

9:15 - 9:55 AM Mark Estelle, UC San Diego Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, Distinguished Professor of Biological Science SCF Complexes Are Key Regulators of Hormone Signaling in Plants
10:00 - 10:40 AM Bob Goldstein, UNC Chapel Hill Professor of Biology Cellular Mechanisms of Animal Morphogenesis
10:40 - 10:55 AM   BREAK  
10:55 - 11:35 AM Steven Jacobsen, UC Los Angeles Professor of Molecular, Cell and Development Biology Epigenetics in Arabidopsis
11:40 - 12:20 PM Joanna Wysocka, Stanford Univeristy Associate Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology, and of Developmental Biology Stem Cells, Enhancers and Emergence of Epigenomes During Development
12:20 - 1:30 PM   LUNCH  
1:30 - 2:10 PM Dominique Bergmann, Stanford University Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, Assistant Professor of Biology Asymmetry, Fate and Self-Renewal in the Plant Epidermis
2:15 - 2:55 PM Alejandro Sanchez Alvarado, Stowers Institute Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, Stowers Institute for Medical Research The Developmental and Reproductive Plasticity of Planarians
2:55 - 3:10 PM   BREAK  
3:10 - 3:50 PM Venu Reddy Gonehal, UC Riverside  Associate Professor of Plant Cell Biology Dose, Discrimination and Transcription Logic of Stem Cell Dynamics
3:55 - 4:35 PM Allan Spradling, Carnegie Institution for Science, Baltimore Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, and Director, Department of Embryology Evolutionary Conservation in Tissue and Stem Cell Biology
4:40 - 5:00 PM Sharon Long, Stanford University 2013 Beckman Symposium Co-Chair, Professor of Biology Closing Remarks

Speaker Profiles

Alejandro Sanchez Alvarado is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and is also an investigator at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. His laboratory is exploring the fundamental mechanisms underlying regeneration. He has established a powerful new model system to study the molecular mechanics of regeneration using the freshwater flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea. His laboratory has developed the molecular tools needed to reveal how regeneration works in this flatworm.

Dominique Bergmann is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and an Assistant Professor of Biology at Stanford University. Her laboratory uses the development of plant stomata (the epidermal structures that regulate CO2 and water vapor exchange between the plant and atmosphere) as a model for the study of cell fate, stem cell self-renewal, and cell polarity in plants.

Mark Estelle is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and is a Distinguished Professor of Biological Science, and Chair of the Section of Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of California, San Diego. His research focus is the plant hormone auxin that has been implicated in virtually every stage of plant growth and development from embryogenesis to senescence. Dr. Estelle’s laboratory is using the genetically tractable plant Arabidopsis thaliana to identify and characterize auxin response pathways. The laboratory’s ultimate goal is to understand the systems that mediate auxin-dependent development at the level of the cell and organism.

Bob Goldstein is a Professor of Biology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is interested in understanding how cells develop into organisms. The laboratory uses the nematode C. elegans to determine how cells move to specific positions during development, how cells change shape, how intercellular signals act to polarize cells, and how the mitotic spindle is positioned in cells. Using an obscure relative of C. elegans and Drosophila, the laboratory is also studying how such developmental mechanisms can evolve to produce organisms with different forms.

Venu Reddy Gonehal is an Associate Professor of Plant Cell Biology at the University of California, Riverside. His laboratory is interested in exploring the molecular and cellular basis of cell identity transition. He employs dynamic methods of transient perturbations, in cell-cell communication, followed by cell-type specific genomics and live-imaging to obtain a dynamic view of molecular and cellular architecture that dictate cell identity transitions.

Steven Jacobsen is a Professor of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is interested in cell memory, or the process by which dividing cells inherit states of gene activity. His laboratory is focused on epigenetic modifications of chromatin including cytosine DNA methylation and histone modifications. The other major project in the lab concerns the de novo DNA methyltransferase DRM2. Both genetics and biochemistry are being used to work out the mechanisms by which cells initially recognize and silence genes.

Allan Spradling is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and a Staff Member and Director of the Department of Embryology at the Carnegie Institution for Science, Baltimore. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Biology at Johns Hopkins University. His laboratory studies the biology of reproduction - specifically, how egg cells are able to reset the normally irreversible processes of differentiation and aging that govern all somatic cells. The lab uses Drosophila as a primary research system. By studying ovarian stem cells, they have learned how cells maintain an undifferentiated state and how cell production is regulated by microenvironments known as niches. The lab is also re-investigating the role of steroid and prostaglandin hormones in controlling the process of oogenesis from stem cell to laid egg.

Joanna Wysocka is an Associate Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology and of Developmental Biology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The biological question that is driving the research in Dr. Wysocka’s lab is understanding the epigenetic basis of vertebrate development and differentiation. The focus of the research is on understanding the mechanistic basis by which covalent histone modifications regulate gene expression patterns during vertebrate development and differentiation. A second area of interest involves chromatin regulation in embryonic stem cells (ESCs), molecular basis of pluripotency and role of histone methyltransferases in cell fate decisions.

Beckman Center Director Lucy Shapiro is the Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor of Cancer Research in the Department of Developmental Biology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Shapiro is a microbial geneticist whose research has resulted in major advances in understanding cell differentiation. Her innovative use of the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus has yielded fundamental insights for understanding the bacterial cell as a paradigm for an integrated system in which the transcriptional circuitry is interwoven with the three-dimensional deployment of key regulatory and morphological proteins. Dr. Shapiro showed for the first time that bacterial DNA replication occurred in a spacially organized way, and that the act of replication and the subsequent segregation of the DNA to opposite ends of the cell dictates the cellular position and time of function of the cell division machine. She has won numerous awards and distinctions for her contributions to the field of microbial genetics including the 2005 Selman Waksman Award, the 2009 Canada Gairdner International Award, the 2012 Louisa Horwitz Prize, and the 2012 National Medal of Science.

Sharon Long is the William C. Steere, Jr. – Pfizer, Inc. Professor in Biological Sciences in the Department of Biology at Stanford University. She and her group study the symbiosis of nitrogen-fixing bacteria with host legume plants. They use genetics, biochemistry and cell biology to understand how the bacteria and plants signal and respond to each other. The analysis of how two organisms interact can in turn lead to understanding basic processes in each of the partners. One line of research has led to the discovery that plants and bacteria recognize and coordinate with each other by exchanging molecular signals. In recent work, they are studying specific forms of bacterial RNA polymerase that are required for the bacteria to transition from the free-living to the endosymbiotic state. They are particularly interested in plant and bacterial mutants that fail to support bacterial infection and differentiation, as the corresponding genes may reveal mechanisms of cell wall dynamics and cell division.

Roel Nusse is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and the Virginia and Daniel K. Ludwig Professor in Cancer Research in the Department of Developmental Biology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The research in his laboratory is aimed at understanding the regulation of growth, development, and integrity of animal tissues. A common focus of the work has been the study of the Wnt signaling pathways. Wnt proteins have been shown to be essential for control over stem cells, and it is the balance between the number of stem and differentiated cells that allows organs to function properly. The lab is studying how Wnt proteins exert control over stem cells and in particular, how physiological changes, such as those occurring during hormonal stimuli, injury or programmed tissue degeneration have an impact on the self-renewal signals and on stem cell biology.