Grant: $200,000 - National Science Foundation - Jul. 2, 2009
100% voted satisfied - 0% voted not satisfied - 1 vote(s) cast
Award Description: During the development and adult life of any organism, a relatively small number of signaling molecules control and coordinate cellular differentiation, proliferation and growth. The ability of a cell to respond to a given stimulus in a particular way depends on its competence or developmental potential, and the vertebrate nervous system is no exception. In the case of the caudal neural plate, cells respond differently to FGF signaling molecules depending on the location of this factors? source: in the anterior region (prospective hindbrain) FGF organizes the tissue into compartments or rhombomeres, whereas in the posterior region FGF promotes proliferation and maturation of spinal cord progenitors. Moreover, FGF activates the same signaling transduction pathway in both territories. We have recently made a fundamental discovery that allows us to address, in a simple binary decision system, issues of neural competence. We found that neural cells? decision to follow a hindbrain or a spinal cord mode of development is dependent on a single family of transcription factors, Cdx: caudal neural plate cells expressing cdx develop as spinal cord whereas cells not expressing these genes develop as hindbrain (Skromne et al., 2007). The MAIN OBJECTIVE of this project is to understand how molecular context (presence or absence of Cdx) allows prospective hindbrain cells (Cdx negative) and prospective spinal cord cells (Cdx positive) to respond in distinctly different ways to signaling factors (FGFs) that are present in both territories by activating particular developmental programs in a cell-specific fashion. Our studies will provide new insights into the mechanisms governing the ability of cells to respond to signaling factors during the development and adult life of an organism. In particular, this research should have broad intellectual implications in the fields of immunology, neurobiology, developmental and cancer biology.
Project Description: Prime recipient is finalizing generating recombinant DNA constructs for the establishment of transgenic zebrafish lines required for this work (next 2-3 months). These constructs will then be injected onto zebrafish embryos to generate transient and stable zebrafish lines (4-8 months). Transgenic zebrafish will then be analyzed for hindbrain and spinal cord development (12-24 months).
Jobs Summary: Prime recipient is in the process of hiring a Associate Research Technician and initiated a search for a Postdoctoral Associates. (Total jobs reported: 0)
Project Status: Less Than 50% Completed
This award's data was last updated on Jul. 2, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.