K-State Division of Biology


Michael T. Veeman

Michael T. Veeman

Assistant Professor

Ph.D. 2003, University of Washington
Molecular and Cellular Biology

Office: 110 Ackert Hall; (785)532-6636
Lab: 17 Ackert Hall; (785)532-6811

Molecular Cellular Developmental Web

The Veeman lab is starting up at K-State in October of 2011. Incoming graduate students interested in a rotation late in the fall semester are encouraged to contact me. We may also have projects available for talented undergraduates with backgrounds in biology, computer science or engineering.

Research Focus

We use genetic, molecular and direct imaging methods to study the finely coordinated cell behaviors giving rise to structure and form in developing embryos. Our main model system is the ascidian Ciona. Ascidian (sea squirt) embryos have conserved chordate features including a notochord and a hollow dorsal neural tube, but in the context of an embryo that is much smaller and simpler than vertebrate embryos. This provides an unusual ability to study chordate morphogenesis with fine subcellular detail while simultaneously having a broad, embryo-wide field of view.

We are particularly interested in the morphogenesis of the notochord, as it is one of the defining features of the chordate body plan, it is the first organ to form, and it undergoes complex cell movements and shape changes that are relevant to many developing tissues and organs. In addition to the tools of traditional developmental biology, we also make extensive use of computational image analysis methods to extract quantitative information from large multidimensional images of developing embryos.

Selected Research Publications

Obara, B., M.T.Veeman, J.H. Choi, W.C. Smith, and B.S. Manjunath. 2010. Segmentation of ascidian notochord cells in DIC timelapse images. Microscopy Research and Technique, in press.

Veeman, M.T., S. Chiba, and W.C. Smith. 2010. Ciona Genetics. Methods in Molecular Biology, in press.

Tresser, J., S. Chiba, M.T. Veeman, D. El-Nachef, E. Newman-Smith, T. Horie, M. Tsuda, and W.C. Smith. 2010. doublesex/mab3 related-1 (dmrt-1) is esential for
development of anterior neural plate derivatives in Ciona
. Development 137(13): 2197-203.

Veeman, M.T., E. Newman-Smith, D. El-Nachef, and W.C. Smith. 2010. The ascidian mouth opening is derived from the anterior neuropore: reassessing the mouth/neural tube relationship in chordate evolution. Developmental Biology 344(1):138-49.

Veeman, M.T.,Y. Nakatani, C. Hendrickson, V. Ericson, C. Lin, and W.C. Smith. 2008. Chongmague reveals an essential role for laminin-mediated boundary formation in chordate convergence and extension movements. Development 135(1):33-41.

Veeman, M.T., J.D. Axelrod, and R.T. Moon. 2003. A second canon: functions and mechanisms of ß-catenin independent Wnt signaling. Developmental Cell 5(3):367-77.

Veeman, M.T., D.C. Slusarski, A. Kaykas, S.H. Louie, and R.T. Moon. 2003. Zebrafish prickle, a modulator of noncanonical Wnt/Fz signaling, regulates gastrulation
. Current Biology 13:680-685.



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