Conferences - Seminars

  Thursday 12 October 2017 10:00 - 11:00 AI 1153

Neuromesodermal Progenitors are Conserved Source of Spinal Cord with Divergent Growth Dynamics

By Ben Steventon, Ph.D., University of Cambridge (UK)


Gastrulation is the process by which cells of the early embryo become specified into distinct germ layers. Recently, retrospective clonal analysis studies in the mouse have demonstrated that germ layer specification continues throughout somitogenesis stages from a population of bipotent stem cells called neuromesodermal progenitors (NMps). However, it is not clear whether this is a later adaptation of mammalian embryos that elongate their body axis by continual addition of cells from a posterior growth zone or represents a conserved cellular trajectory of spinal cord production. Via a combination of photolabelling and light-sheet imaging, we have traced the lineage contributions to the spinal cord from head to tail of the zebrafish embryo. We suggest that NMps are a conserved cell population that show vastly different rates of differentiation and growth in a species-specific manner. I will present this data together with recent work exploring the dynamic regulatory networks that control NMp competence and specification.

Ben Steventon began his studies in Developmental Biology as a PhD student with Roberto Mayor at UCL in 2004. After graduating in 2008, he moved to KCL to work with Andrea Streit. Subsequently he moved to the lab of Jean-Francois Nicolas and  Estelle Hirsinger at the Institut Pasteur, Paris. There, he began to work with zebrafish embryos to further the understanding of the tissue deformations that lead to the elongation of the embryonic body axis. To develop imaging and analytical techniques to study this process at the cellular and molecular levels, he was awarded a Marie-Curie fellowship to work with Scott Fraser (University of California, USA) and Alfonso Martinez-Arias (University of Cambridge). With his Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale fellowship, he is now applying these techniques to investigate how cell fate decisions are orchestrated in space and time during axis patterning in zebrafish embryos.

2016 onwards: Wellcome Trust/Royal Society Sir Henry Dale Fellow
Department of Genetics
University of Cambridge, UK
2015-2016: Marie Curie International Incoming Fellow             
Alfonso Martinez-Arias Lab
University of Cambridge, UK
2014-2015: Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellow               
Scott Fraser Lab
University of Southern California, USA
2011-2014: Post-Doctoral Research Assistant                                     
Jean-François Nicolas and Estelle Hirsinger     
Institut Pasteur, France
2008-2011: Post-Doctoral Research Assistant                                     
Andrea Streit Lab
Kings College London, UK
2008: JSPS Summer project fellow                                                                           
Takehiro Kusakabe Lab
Hyogo University, Japan
2004-2008: PhD student                                                                          
Roberto Mayor Lab                                            
University College London, UK    
2001-2004: Bsc final year project                                                          
Robert Kelsh Lab
University of Bath, UK
2003: Summer Project student                                                        
Robert Kelsh
University of Bath, UK

Organization Prof. Andy Oates

Contact Institute of Bioengineering (IBI, Dietrich REINHARD)

Accessibility Informed public

Admittance Free