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K-State Today

September 20, 2018

Division of Biology and ADVANCE Distinguished Lecture Series seminar Sept. 21

Submitted by Division of Biology

Mark Peifer, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will present "Building the Body Plan: The Miracle of Morphogenesis" at 4 p.m. Sept. 21 in 221 Ackert Hall.

The talk will cover the self-assembly of a fertilized egg into an animal as one of the most remarkable feats in biology. The Peifer lab works at the interface between cell and developmental biology, focusing on the epithelial tissues that form the basic architectural unit of our bodies and of those of other animals. They explore how the machinery mediating cell adhesion, cytoskeletal regulation and Wnt signaling regulates cell fate and tissue architecture in development and disease. One lab focus is on proteins that link cell-cell adhesive junctions to the cytoskeleton, and the roles of these linkages in setting up epithelial apical-basal polarity and in meditating events that allow epithelial cells change to shape and move during embryonic development without disrupting epithelial integrity. We have found that the protein Canoe and its mammalian homolog Afadin play important roles in these processes, and are currently defining roles for Canoe regulators, like the small GTPase Rap1, and Canoe/Afadin partners, like Pyd/ZO-1.

If you would like to visit with Peifer, contact Jocelyn McDonald at jmcdona@k-state.edu. Peifer's visit is co-sponsored by the Division of Biology and the K-State Office for the Advancement of Women in Science and Engineering, or KAWSE, through the ADVANCE Distinguished Lecture Series.

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