This course provides an introduction to Animal Developmental Biology, focusing on the basic concepts and common molecular mechanisms that organize development from the egg to the multicelular organism. Emphasis will be made on the major signaling pathways that play reiteractive crucial roles during embryonic development like SHH, Wnt, Notch, FGF/EGF/ Ephrins (TyrK), TGFb (Ser/thrK) and provide the cell tool-kit to organize the developing multicellular body.
Topics include: fertilization; stages of embryonic development; molecular mechanisms of axis specification D/V, L/R, A/P; gastrulation, movements and molecular players; germ layer formation; patterning by the HOX genes; illustrating examples of differentiation of each germ layer - neurogenesis, somitogenesis and intestine formation. This last paradigm illustrates that the mechanisms that operate in the embryo are similar to the ones that occur in adult tissues that undergo continuous cell renewal. Finally we will discuss themes more related to biomedicine like regeneration, stem cells and cancer
Lectures will be based on textbook material and selected papers/reviews from the current literature. The classes will be presented via Data show but will be mostly based in the presentation of historical or crucial experiments that illustrate the concepts and contents of the theoretical program.