Scientific sessions, CRG Group Leader Seminars
Molecular Mechanisms involved in the Patterning of the Central Nervous System, Developmental Biology Research Group, Dept. CEXS, UPF
Cristina Pujades was trained as a cell biologist during her PhD in the University of Barcelona, and continued working in cell adhesion during her postdoctoral stay at the DFCI/Harvard Medical School in Boston. Afterwards, she moved to Paris to study the development of the hindbrain in P. Charnay’s lab in the Ecole Normale Superieure. Her group at the DCEXS is interested in addressing several questions of neural development such as: i) how cell diversity is generated from single precursors (cell lineage reconstruction); ii) how cell fate decisions are taken; and iii) how cell fate affects cell behavior. They tackle these questions in two structures, which are interconnected by neuronal circuits: the hindbrain and the inner ear. They use zebrafish embryos as a model system because it allows functional genetic studies to be combined with 3D+time in vivo imaging.
Cell lineage follows the normal fate of a cell and its daughters, leading to genealogical trees of cells with increasingly restricted cell fate choices as development proceeds. I will discuss about recent data from my lab regarding i) the generation of the lineage tree of the neurosensory elements of the inner ear, and ii) the onset of a specific boundary cell population in the rhombomere interfaces and its specific gene regulation.