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Streamed live on Dec 16, 2016
ICTP COLLOQUIUM by Eric F Wieschaus, Princeton University, and Nobel Prize 1995 for Physiology and Medicine, will take place on Friday 16 December at 17:00 hrs in the Budinich Lecture Hall, Leonardo Building, ICTP. Abstract: During development, cells in an embryo face two major tasks. First, they must express distinct combinations of genes appropriate for specific cell fates such as muscle and skin. Once such patterns of gene expression are established, cells must change their shape and position to match those cell fates. These morphological transformations are remarkable for their speed and precision, but also for their incredible beauty. The associated cell-shape changes depend on local patterns of gene activity, but how such patterns are converted into the physical properties controlling shape and motility is a major unanswered question in biology. In my talk, I will describe my lab’s attempts to address these questions using the Drosophila embryo as a model system. A surprising feature of these morphological changes is that although they are driven by gene activities in individual cells, they can often be understood as global changes in the distribution of physical forces within the entire tissue. These findings open up a new perspective on the relationship between cells and organismal morphology.