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Ectopic Seminar by Tzumin Lee, HHMI Janelia Farm Research Campus: Wednesday 7th December at 4pm in the Zoology Part2 Lecture theatre


Tzumin Lee from the HHMI Janelia Farm Research Campus is going to give seminar on Wednesday 7th December at 4pm in the Zoology Part2 Lecture theatre: "Mechanisms underlying neuronal cell fate specification in the Drosophila central brain."


Tzumin Lee has a long standing interest in studying mechanisms that allow different cells types to be generated in the developing central nervous system. Working with Drosophila as a model system, he has consistently pushed back the boundaries, partly by inventing new methods for visualising and manipulating cells during nervous system development.


Tzumin will be around for a short time only, until Thursday noon (8th Dec). Please let Matthias Landgraf know if you would like to meet with him on Thursday morning. There may also be an opportunity to join him over a drink sometime after his talk on Wednesday.


Below is an excerpt from the Janelia farm webpage:


"To developmental neuroscientist Tzumin Lee, fruit flies are a research version of Lego. ‘I can combine and create with them,’ he says. But Lee also sees the flies as patients, albeit tiny, red-eyed ones. ‘We know many diseases have a genetic component, but we can't control human genotypes,’ he explains. ‘With flies, we can create the patients we want and then learn from them.’”

Like many Taiwanese children, Lee had his career plans shaped by his family, and his family expected him to be a physician. But he yearned to do research. After earning his Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University, Lee chose to study the development of the nervous system, using the fruit fly as a model. “When I started to devote myself to the nervous system, the power of fly genetics had not been well extended to the nervous system,” he says. “The tools that people had were not sophisticated, and they were used to study other tissues of the fly.”

So Lee set about creating better tools. With Liqun Luo, now an HHMI investigator, Lee developed a way to label individual neurons in living fruit flies. The technique, called mosaic analysis with a repressible cell marker, or MARCM, is used to discover the functions of genes, as well as trace the lineages of neurons and the paths of neural impulses."


For more information, please visit the Tzumin Lee lab webpage:


Matthias Landgraf


Posted on 28/11/2011

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