Guest speaker to give biology talk Oct. 6

Jennifer Guzman, assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, will give a special talk for the Department of Biology Friday, Oct. 6. All are welcome to attend.

Guzman’s talk, “Building the Vertebrate Brain,” will begin at 2:30 p.m. in Bear Auditorium, Farr Hall 130.

Guzman’s laboratory applies genetic, developmental, molecular, and cell biological approaches to study brain morphogenesis and myh9-related disease in the developing embryo using zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a model system.

Embryonic brain shape is highly conserved across vertebrate species indicating the unique and essential requirement of a shape-function relationship in early brain development. After neural tube formation and specification of different brain regions, the developing vertebrate brain bends multiple times to subdivide regions and pack itself into the skull. Abnormal brain shape is associated with birth defects including neural tube defects and hydrocephalus, and changes in cell shape are the basis for the process of embryonic morphogenesis. Her lab investigates the molecular mechanisms that regulate specific cell shape changes during the formation of the midbrain-hindbrain boundary.