Shashank Gandhi, Miller Fellow, UC Berkeley
Shashank Gandhi, a Miller Fellow at UC Berkeley and Guest Scientist at Clevers Lab, Hubrecht Institute, The Netherlands, will present his talk "From embryos to organoids: neural crest at the heart of development."
In humans, the heart is the first functional organ to form, beginning as a tube that beats and circulates blood, followed by rearrangements that transform the single-chambered tube into a four-chambered organ. Genetic errors in this intricate process can lead to severe congenital heart defects, which are the most common birth defects in humans. Several of these defects result from abnormalities in an embryonic stem cell population called the neural crest. I am interested in employing a multi-modal approach toward uncovering the genetic circuitry that controls neural crest differentiation into the muscular tissue of the heart, focusing on the evolution, septation, and morphogenesis of the outflow tract.