Feb 15, 2021
Cheng-Yi Chen has joined the lab as a new post-doc! He received his PhD from the Stowers Institute, where he worked in the lab of Matt Gibson. He studied the anemone Nematostella vectensis and established that Nematostella primordial germ cells (PGCs) arise at the interface between hedgehog and patched expression domains in the developing mesentery, and that Hedgehog signaling is required for their specification. This supports the idea that the Nematostella PGCs are specified by inductive (zygotic) signals.
In the lab, he is focused on cells that undergo trans-specification during development and switch from one transcriptional program to another. He will investigate what causes cells to be trans-specified, follow them to determine their final fate and functionality, and investigate the mechanisms that enable this transcriptional transition.