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CCB-MCB Seminar: “Of folds and lumens: how cells build complex 3D structures” – Claudia Vásquez (Stanford University)

February 2 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Speaker: Claudia Vásquez, Postdoc (Stanford University)
Seminar title: “Of folds and lumens: how cells build complex 3D structures”
Date and Time: Wednesday, February 2; 11AM-NOON
“Of folds and lumens: how cells build complex 3D structures”
The study of cell shape has taught us many lessons about cellular function and dysfunction; however, we are just beginning to understand how this basic attribute drives form and function at the level of multicellular tissues. Work by myself and others has illuminated how fascinatingly interconnected cell shape is with dynamic, emergent properties of animal tissues. I have sought to understand an archetypal, yet still largely mysterious process; how a hollow opening, or lumen, is constructed from a solid mass of cells. In parallel, I have employed cryo-electron tomography to directly visualize the molecular-scale architecture of cell-cell contacts, the essential building blocks for multicellular tissues. These projects form the basis for my research program aimed at uncovering the emergent properties cells use to build higher-order tissue structures.  
Claudia Vásquez is interested in identifying the molecular and physical rules cells utilize to build complex three-dimensional tissue structures. Her graduate work tackled mechanisms of tissue folding in the Drosophila embryo. As a postdoc, she uncovered how epithelial tissue topology is driven by cell-cell contacts. In addition to utilizing a broad range of molecular, genetic, and biochemical techniques, she has employed cellular cryo-electron tomography, which places molecular-scale observations within the spatial framework of multicellular tissues.  These projects form the basis for her future independent research aimed at understanding how living tissues are constructed from molecular to tissue scales.


February 2
11:00 am - 12:00 pm