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  UPCOMING EVENTS   Selected Seminar        
Date: 13 April 2017
Time: 11:00am | Level 3, IMCB Seminar Room 3-46, Proteos
Speaker: Dr. Lihsia Chen
Title: L1CAM adhesion and signaling in C. elegans nervous system development and function

Cell adhesion receptors function in multiple processes, ranging from organogenesis to maintenance of tissue integrity. These processes rely on the ability of cell adhesion receptors to integrate extracellular signals with cytoskeletal and intracellular signaling networks. A clinically-relevant family of cell adhesion receptors is the L1CAMs, single transmembrane receptors that are highly conserved in both vertebrates and invertebrates. L1CAMs are directly linked to the neurological L1 disorder and highly associated with complex neuropsychiatric disorders, including Schizophrenia and the Autism Spectrum Disorder. We use the genetic model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans, to dissect L1CAM roles and mechanisms of action. In addition to investigating L1CAM roles in mediating axon guidance and maintaining neural integrity, we are currently examining a novel L1CAM role in synaptic modulation.

Dr. Chen received her undergraduate degree from the Johns Hopkins University in 1990. As an undergraduate, Dr. Chen worked in the laboratory of Nobel laureate, Hamilton Smith at the JHU School of Medicine investigating mechanisms of DNA transformation by Haemophilus Influenza A. Dr. Chen stayed on at the Johns Hopkins University for graduate school, completing her Ph.D. thesis on the role of C. elegans MyoD in muscle development with Nobel laureate, Andrew Fire, at the Carnegie Institute of Washington in 1997. Dr. Chen then completed her postdoctoral training with Dr. Vann Bennett, a Howard Hughes Investigator at the Duke University School of Medicine where she developed C. elegans as a genetic system to study the roles and mechanisms of action of L1CAMs, ankyrins, and the spectrin-actin cytoskeleton. In 2002, Dr. Chen joined the University of Minnesota as assistant professor in the Dept. of Genetics, Cell Biology & Development where she continues her work on L1CAMs in nervous system development and function.

Host: A/Prof. Sudipto Roy


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