Scientific sessions, CRG Group Leader Seminars
Developmental Biology Group, UPF
Fernando Giraldez is professor of Developmental Biology at the CEXS-UPF. Born in Buenos Aires in 1952 from Spanish parents, he returned to Spain and finished high school at the Instituto Ramiro de Maeztu in Madrid. He studied Medicine at the Universidad de Valladolid where he did his PhD on the electrophysiology of sensory receptors under the supervision of Carlos Belmonte, to continue his post-doctoral training at the University of Cambridge between 1979 and 1983. He became full professor of the University of Valladolid in 1989 and joined the UPF in 2001 to start the Developmental Biology group.
Summary of the talk
Hearing and balance rely on the function of the hair cells of the inner ear. Atonal1 (Atoh1) is a master gene for the differentiation of hair cells and very much the core of hair cell development and regeneration. The talk will address the molecular regulation of Atoh1 and how genetic networks interact with Atoh1 so that hair cells differentiate in the correct time and place. Sox2 and Notch are part of these regulatory loops, which contain some seemingly paradoxical interactions that are better understood by combining experiments with modelling. The work is focused on some basic problems of embryonic development, but it also provides interesting hints for hair cell regeneration and hearing repair. Research is supported by the Spanish MICINN/MINECO and Fundació MaratóTV3.