Seminar: Fat3 – An Unusual Cadherin Regulating Retinal Lamination and Stratification

Michael D Flyer

Michael Deans, Assistant Professor and Director of Research, Otolaryngology, University of Utah will be delivering a seminar on Fat3 – An Unusual Cadherin Regulating Retinal Lamination and Stratification on Thursday, July 2nd 24th at Noon  in the the Moran Eye Center auditorium.

Abstract: Neurons receive signals through dendrites that vary widely in number and organization, ranging from one primary dendrite to multiple complex dendritic trees. For example, retinal amacrine cells project primary dendrites into discrete strata of the inner plexiform layer and only rarely extend processes into other retinal layers. We have shown that the atypical cadherin Fat3 ensures that ACs develop this unipolar morphology. AC precursors are initially multipolar, but lose neurites as they migrate through the neuroblastic layer. In fat3 mutants, pruning is unreliable and ACs elaborate two dendritic trees: one within the IPL and a second projecting away from the IPL that stratifies to form an additional synaptic layer. More recently we have found that Fat3 is regulated by RNA processing and that one alternatively spliced isoform binds to the Kinesin subunit Kif5b. One exciting hypothesis that we are currently testing is that Kinesin trafficking regulates Fat3 subcellular distribution, thereby mediating Fat3-dependent dendrite formation.

Seminar: Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Optic Cup Morphogenesis

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Kristen Kwan, Assistant Professor of Human Genetics, University of Utah will be delivering a seminar on Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Optic Cup Morphogenesis on Wednesday, June 24th at Noon  in the the Moran Eye Center auditorium.

Abstract: Developmental defects in eye structure can cause visual impairment in newborns.  These defects often arise very early in eye development, when the basic structure of the eye is generated during optic cup morphogenesis, which transforms the nascent optic vesicle, via a series of complex cell and tissue rearrangements, into the optic cup.  Using zebrafish as our model system and a combination of 4-dimensional live imaging, computational methods, and molecular genetics, we are directly visualizing optic cup morphogenesis and determining underlying mechanisms.  This talk will be focused on our recent work aimed at understanding choroid fissure formation and its disruptions in a particular zebrafish model of ocular coloboma, as well as the role of extracellular matrix proteins and adhesion in driving optic cup formation.

Seminar: Dissecting The Gene Regulatory Network In Retinal Development

Mu flyer

Xiuqian Mu, Assistant Professor of the Department of Ophthalmology from the State University of New York at Buffalo is scheduled to present a seminar at 4pm on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 in the EIHG Auditorium. The title of his seminar is: Dissecting the gene regulatory network in retinal development: One Cut at a time.

The Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the University of Utah is hosting.  Faculty host is Monica Vetter.

An Instructive Role for Patterned Spontaneous Retinal Activity in Mouse Visual Map Development

This paper by Hongping Xu, Moran Furman, Yann S. Mineur, Hui Chen, Sarah L. King, David Zenisek, Z. Jimmy Zhou, Daniel A. Butts, Ning Tian, Marina R. Picciotto and Michael Crair describes a collaborative effort from several laboratories from Yale University, the University of Maryland and the University of Utah.  Two former postdoctoral fellows from the laboratory of Ning Tian, Drs. Hongping Xu (the first author) and Hui Chen, were principal contributors. Continue reading “An Instructive Role for Patterned Spontaneous Retinal Activity in Mouse Visual Map Development”