The Moens lab studies the early development of the vertebrate brain, using the transparent zebrafish embryo as an in vivo model system for neuroepithelial morphogenesis, neuron migration and synapse formation. Our approaches include forward genetic screening for mutants in which these processes fail or occur abnormally and in vivo imaging of normal and mutant embryos, cells and proteins to discover how the genes we identify in our screens control normal brain development. In collaboration with human genetics colleagues at the University of Washington we also use reverse genetics approaches (TILLING and TALENs) to generate mutations in the zebrafish orthologs of genes that cause hindbrain malformations in humans with the goal of using the exquisite in vivo tools available in the zebrafish to understand the developmental basis of these disorders.
Cecilia Moens is a Member in the Division of Basic Science at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Cecilia received her B.Sc. in Biology from York University (Toronto, Canada) in 1987 and her Ph.D. in Medical and Molecular Genetics from the University of Toronto in 1993. She did her post-doctoral training with Charles Kimmel in the Institute of Neuroscience at the University of Oregon and joined the faculty at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in 1998.