Ira Pastor, ideaXme longevity and aging ambassador and founder of Bioquark, interviews Prof. Dr. Deborah Gumucio, Professor Emerita, Cell & Developmental Biology, University of Michigan Medical School.
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Ira Pastor Comments:
On today’s show we are going to delve into the area of ontogenesis, defined as the development of an individual organism, or anatomical or behavioral feature, from the earliest stage to maturity. Ontogenesis also encompasses the dynamics of embryogenesis (embryo development) and organogenesis (organ development).
This week, a fascinating study was published out of Ann Arbor, Michigan, at the University of Michigan, on a new method for making stem cell colonies that mimic parts of early human development.
This novel technique holds the possibility to improve the ability to investigate important questions about both maternal and child health, embryonic development, birth defects and even miscarriages.
The technique developed imitates stages in embryonic development that occur shortly after implantation in the uterus, when the amniotic sac begins to form and when the stem cells that would go on to become the fetus take their first steps toward organization into the body.
One of the lead investigators of this study, who is joining me today, is Prof. Dr. Deborah Gumucio, Professor Emerita, Cell & Developmental Biology, University of Michigan Medical School.
Dr. Gumucio’s laboratory studies organogenesis with a focus on the molecular control of ontogeny, development, patterning and homeostasis of the gut (known as lumenogenesis) as well as inflammation, and the molecular pathogenesis of diseases such as familial Mediterranean fever.
Dr. Gumucio founded the University of Michigan Center for Organogenesis in 1995, serving as its Co-Director for the past 10 years. The center is multi-disciplinary, bringing together clinical, basic and applied scientists in the study of organogenesis and its relationship to human disease.
Dr. Gumucio has served on numerous committees and programs, including the Biomedical Research Council, the Biomedical Core Advisory Team, the Dean’s Advisory Task Force, the Graduate Program Committee of the Program in Cell and Molecular Biology at Michigan, the Program Committee for the Construction of the Basic Science Research Building, the Medical School Executive Committee and the Dean’s Task Force for the Research Enterprise.
Dr. Gumucio has organized numerous international symposia for the Center for Organogenesis as well as serves as course coordinator for the graduate course, “Organogenesis of Complex Tissues. In addition, she participates in teaching Medical Histology, Medical Embryology, Dental Histology and Developmental Biology. Finally, Dr. Gumucio is the Program Director for the NIH-funded Training Program in Organogenesis.
She is also Co-Author of Translational Research and Discovery in Gastroenterology: Organogenesis to Disease.
In national and international arenas, Dr. Gumucio has served as a member of the Eukaryotic Genetics study section of the National Science Foundation and on several ad hoc study sections and site visit teams for the NIH. She is an Associate Editor for the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology, and was a member of the International Advisory Board for the Third and Fourth International Conferences on Familial Mediterranean Fever. She has also served on the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for the Establishment of a Non-human Primate Biomaterials and Informatics Resource and currently sits on the External Scientific Advisory Board of the University of California at Davis Primate Center.
Dr. Gumucio is also the Director of a fascinating project combining art and science called the BioArtography Project, an extremely elegant project that is involved in collating beautiful microscopic images from University of Michigan researchers all over campus. The project will be displayed at the Ann Arbor Art Fair, where faculty, staff and trainees interact directly with the public and explain the scientific and health significance of their work, providing a better understanding of ourselves as well as the world that surrounds us.
On this show we will hear from Dr. Gumucio:
How she became interested in science, in health, and in developmental biology. An overview of her work in luminogenesis. Her work in embryology, including an overview of her recent embryoid colony paper. Finally, we’ll learn more about her work with the BioArtography Project.
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