Stanford School of Medicine

Chemical & Systems Biology We explore how regulatory circuits control cells and organisms


Seminar: Eileen Furlong

Posted by CSB Department on February 14, 2014

Speaker: Eileen Furlong, Ph.D.

Title: “Temporal control of developmental networks: It’s all in the timing.”

Abstract: One of the central challenges in biology is to understand how the genome is utilized to give rise to diverse cell types. Embryonic development occurs through the progressive restriction of cell fates, from pluripotent fields of cells to complex organs and tissues. This process requires a directed progression through interlinked regulatory states, each defined by the total set of active transcription factors. At each stage of development, the combined inputs of signalling and transcriptional networks regulate the expression of specific sets of genes that drive the transition to the next, often more specialized, state. Understanding how the underlying cis-regulatory networks produce spatial and temporal gene expression is therefore an essential step towards deciphering metazoan development and ultimately evolutionary change. While genetic studies have identified a growing number of essential transcription factors (TFs) required for cell fate specification, little is known about the mechanisms by which these regulators function. Conversely, recent global approaches assaying TF binding enable the location and even combinatorial occupancy of enhancers to be experimentally measured at specific stages of development, at a genome-wide scale. A current major challenge is to interpret these TF binding data in terms of their resulting spatio-temporal cis-regulatory activity. Our work attempts to bridge this gap, by integrating genetic, genomic and computational approaches to understand how transcriptional networks drive cell fate selection, using mesoderm specification in Drosophila as a well-defined model system. I will present our current status on an on-going effort to integrate information on TF occupancy, changes in chromatin state and 4D enhancer interactions to understand how precise transcriptional regulation is controlled during embryonic development.

Time: Friday, February 14, 2014   12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Location: Munzer Auditorium

Contact: Marisol Urbano ‒ 650-725-5091 ‒ urbano@stanford.edu