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Cell and Molecular Biology

Cellular Signaling in the Regulation of Giardia Cyst Formation

Many eukaryotes, pathogenic and free-living alike, encyst during their life cycle. How these various organisms sense their environment to determine when and where to differentiate is largely unknown. Our recent work on the intestinal parasite Giardia lamblia has demonstrated that intestinal bile and elevated pH deplete cholesterol rich lipid rafts from the parasite plasma membrane which upregulates cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) production and initiates encystation. I will present our recent work on the regulation of encystation in Giardia.

A Teaching Professor’s Pathway: Building Community, Engaging Learners, and Improving Equity

By sharing my experiences and perspectives as a teaching professor, I hope to contribute to the ongoing demystification of the diverse pathways taken by teaching professors as they contribute to our shared missions of teaching, service, and scholarship. During this interactive presentation, we will have opportunities to reflect on and discuss strategies for building community, engaging learners, and improving equity, both in the classroom and beyond the classroom.

Building and repairing the skin: Insights from zebrafish

Epithelial organs adopt precise structures during development that must be rapidly repaired in
response to injury. My lab uses zebrafish skin as a model system to understand the molecular
and cellular basis of epithelial organ development and repair. Skin contains a heterogeneous
mixture of cell types—including stem cells, sensory cells, and immune cells—that together
bestow the organ with its remarkable durability and touch sensitivity. In this talk, I will highlight

From models to non-models: exploring new science and new ways to pursue it

Basic scientific research is often geared towards the biology of humans or more experimentally tractable organisms that share biology with humans. However, evolution has run many experiments distinct from human biology resulting in groundbreaking innovations (CRISPR, GFP, PCR, optogenetics and many more). Here, I will highlight how studying a broader range of organisms can shift our understanding of the rules of life and impact our ability to engineer it.

Zebrafish Cutaneous Injury Models Reveal That Langerhans Cells Engulf Axonal Debris in Adult Epidermis

Peterman E, Quitevis EJA, Black EC, Horton EC, Aelmore RL, White E, Sagasti A, Rasmussen JP.  2023.  Zebrafish Cutaneous Injury Models Reveal That Langerhans Cells Engulf Axonal Debris in Adult Epidermis. Disease Models & Mechanisms. 16:dmm049911.


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