This special focus is jointly sponsored by the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS), the Biological, Mathematical, and Physical Sciences Interfaces Institute for Quantitative Biology (BioMaPS), and the Rutgers Center for Molecular Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry (MBBC) and the Program in Mathematics and Molecular Biology (based at Florida State University).
The course is a five-day intensive investigation of biological development divided into two related parts:
Eric Wieschaus of the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University will provide the foundation required of non-expert researchers for the understanding of biological development in a 3-hour introductory presentation. In addition to providing the background for the rest of the course, Professor Wieschaus' presentation will include an outline of his important contributions to the field that resulted in the award of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1995 for discoveries concerning "the genetic control of early embryonic development."
Following this introductory lecture, there will be eight presentations that will include basic background in subfields. John Reinitz of SUNY at Stony Brook will give a more detailed description of the establishment of patterns early in the development of Drosophila. Stanislav Shvartsman of the Genomics Institute and the Department of Chemical Engineering at Princeton University will also speak on pattern formation but with a focus on the process of egg formation. Kenneth Irvine from the Waksman Institute at Rutgers will cover growth and patterning in the fly. Michael Levine from the Molecular & Cell Biology department at the University of California, Berkeley will take an in-depth look at "Gene Networks for fly gastrulation and sea squirt cardiogenesis." Claude Desplan from NYU's Biology department will explore how various embryos pattern their axis, and Michel Kerszberg from Université Pierre et Marie Curie will speak on modelling the onset of cell polarity. Rebecca Burdine from Princeton's Department of Molecular Biology will explore left-right asymmetry in the zebrafish. Monica Driscoll from Rutgers will give a presentation on aging and neuro-degeneration.
The lectures have been designed to provide participants with a limited knowledge of biology a smooth transition to the understanding and appreciation of cutting-edge research in Biological Development..