Thursday, January 31, 2019 - 14:00 to 15:00
CTIR Sir Kenneth and Lady Noreen Murray Seminar Room
Professor Kate Storey FRSE FMedSci FRSB
Professor Valerie Wilson
MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh
Professor Wilson studied for her PhD in Dr Martin Evans' lab in Cambridge from 1987-1991 on ES cell genetic manipulation and transgenesis. She then joined Rosa Beddington's lab to work on postimplantation mouse embryos, first in the Centre for Genome Research, Edinburgh from 1991-1992 and then in the National Institute for Medical Research from 1992-1996, Mill Hill, London. During this time she investigated the role of T(brachyury) in mouse anteroposterior axial elongation, using chimeras created by combining mutant ES cell lines and wild type blastocysts. She moved to Edinburgh in 1996 to set up her own lab to try and understand more fully the mechanisms of axis elongation, first as an MRC Career Development Fellow in the Molecular Medicine Centre, then at the Institute for Stem Cell Research, and most recently in the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, after obtaining a university position. Her lab's primary objective is to understand how progenitors for the mouse anteroposterior axis are maintained over a relatively long period- about a third of mouse gestation- how they generate the axis, and how the length of the axis is regulated. In effect:theywant to know why do mice have long tails (but not very, very long tails)? Her lab has shown that part of the answer of why mice have long tails involves the maintenance of dual-fated progenitors called neuromesodermal progenitors that generate the spinal cord, backbone and muscles. These progenitors are present while the backbone is being formed, and no longer exist once the formation of the vertebrae is complete. If we are able to understand how these progenitors are regulated, we may be able to generate and maintain them in culture.