Prof. Dr. Didier Stainier

Imaging Heart Formation and Function in Zebrafish

Max­Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research Bad Nauheim

The lab of Prof. Stainier investigates questions related to organogenesis including cell differentiation, tissue morphogenesis, organ homeostasis and function, as well as organ regeneration. Using zebrafish as well as mouse models they are currently looking at several mesodermal (heart, vasculature) and endodermal (pancreas, lung) organs. Forward and reverse genetic approaches as well as high­resolution live imaging are utilized to dissect cellular processes. Indeed, the increasing use of reverse genetics in zebrafish, and other model systems, has revealed profound differences between the phenotypes caused by genetic mutations and those caused by gene knockdowns at many loci. Based on investigations about egfl7, an endothelial extracellular matrix gene of therapeutic interest, as well as vegfaa, Professor Stainier will illustrate these differences and outline methodical consequences. Thereby his talk will focus on cardiac development and function and give us the unique opprtunity to get insights into vertebrate organ development at the single­cell level, and beyond.