Final Program

A summary of the conference schedule is below. Click here to obtain the conference abstract booklet.

Friday, April 19th

4:00-6:00 pm            Conference Check-in (ISC 1119)

6:00-7:45 pm            Session I – Genomics & Epigenetics (ISC 1127)

6:00 – 6:15 pm         Welcome from SDB (Matt Wawersik & Margaret Saha)

6:15 – 6:45 pm          Featured Speaker: Valerie Reinke (Yale School of Medicine) Mechanisms of tissue-specific regulation 

of piRNA-RICH genomic regions

6:45 – 7:00 pm         Ying Zhang (NCI-Frederick): Characterization of SPRY2 cis-acting elements responsive to FGF signals

7:00 – 7:15 pm         Julia Wang (Johns Hopkins): Tandem targeting of Dre-mir216A/B microRNA clusters using TALENS

7:15 – 7:30 pm         Amanda Monahan (University of Maryland Baltimore County): SOCS36E attenuation of

Jak-STAT signaling is required for precise cell fate determination in Drosophila

 7:30 – 7:45 pm         Aurora Esquela-Kerscher (Eastern Virginia Medical School): Overlapping microRNA networks

during nematode development

7:45-8:15 pm             Break (ISC 1119)

8:15-9:45 pm             Session II – Specification & Differentiation (ISC 1127)

 8:15 – 8:45 pm         Featured Speaker: Sally Moody (George Washington University) FOX N’ SOX: On becoming neural

 8:45 – 9:00 pm         Daniel McIntyre (Duke University): Short range Wnt5 signaling specifies posterior ectodermal fate in

the sea urchin

 9:00 – 9:15 pm         Joseph Zinski (University of Pennsylvania): Dynamics and shaping of the BMP signaling gradient in

DV axial patterning of the zebrafish gastrula

  9:15 – 9:30 pm         Peng-Fei Xu (University of Virginia): Building a vertebrate embryo using a combindation of

morphogenetic gradients

  9:30 – 9:45 pm         Niteace Whittington (Georgetown University): The levels of Sox21 alters its function in neurogenesis


Saturday, April 20th

8:00 – 9:00 am          Continental Breakfast (ISC lobby – 1st floor)

8:00 – 8:45 am          Funding opportunities in Developmental Biology (ISC 1127)

9:00 – 10:45 am        Session III – Neural development (ISC 1127)

 9:00 – 9:30 am         Featured Speaker: Lisa Taneyhill (University of Maryland) A path forward: Dismantling cellular

junctions during cranial neural crest cell EMT

 9:30 – 9:45 am          Paaqua Grant (George Washington University): A novel, maternally expressed gene, SMCR7L, is

important for early neural development in Xenopus           

 9:45 – 10:00 am       David Wotton (University of Virginia): Defective neuroepithelial cell polarity in the absence of TGIF


10:00 – 10:15 am      Matthew Anderson (NCI-Frederick): FGF3 regulation of BMP signaling is required for neural tube


10:15 – 10:30 am      Benjamin Thiede (University of Virginia): A gradient of retinoic acid signaling regulates tonotopic

development in the chick cochlea

 10:30 – 10:45 am     Joyce Fernandes (Miami University): Motor neurons signal myoblast proliferation during Drosophila

myogenesis using the EGF pathway

10:45 – 11:00 am     Break

11:00 – 12:30 pm     Session IV – Evo-Devo/Eco-Devo (ISC 1127)

11:00 – 11:30 am     Featured Speaker: Eric Engstrom (College of W&M/Hampton University) HAM proteins and

cell division: A pivot point in angiosperm evolution?

11:30 – 11:45 am     Veronica Hinman (Carnegie Mellon University):  The evolution of developmental gene regulation

networks for endosomal specification among echinoderms

11:45 – noon             Alys Cheatle (Carnegie Mellon University): Modularity in DNA binding preference of a Tbrain

Transcription factor may allow for more versatile transcriptional responses and increased


 noon – 12:15 pm     Theresa Grana (University of Mary Washington): Diversity of early development in diverse nematode


12:30 – 2:30 pm       Education lunch (ISC 1127)

3:30 – 6:30 pm         Poster session (Hospitality House –  Williamsburg Ballroom)

7:00 – 10:00 pm       Banquet  (Hospitality House – Empire Ballroom)


Sunday, April 21st

8:00 – 9:00 am         Continental Breakfast for sessions V & VI (ISC lobby – 1st floor)

9:00 – 10:30 am       Session V – Morphogenesis & Organogensis (ISC 1127)

9:00 – 9:30 am          Featured Speaker: Marnie Halpern (Carnegie Institute for Science) Formation and function of left-right

asymmetry in zebrafish brain

 9:30 – 9:45 am          Tim Jackson (University of Pittsburgh): Extracellular ATP regulates contractile mechanical tone of

early embryonic epithelia

 9:45 – 10:00 am       Maria Kaltcheva (NCI-Frederick): Interdigit BMP signaling is essential for programmed cell death and

implicated in digit formation

10:00 – 10:15 am     Audrey Hendley (Johns Hopkins University): Ablation of p120 catenin in embryonic mouse pancreas

disrupts acinar cell, islet and duct development

10:15 – 10:30 am     Heather Szabo-Rogers (University of Pittsburgh): Amplitude of growth factor signaling tunes

craniofacial morphology

10:30 – 10:45 am     Amanda Dickinson (Virginia Commonwealth University): Retinoic acid: a master regulator of

craniofacial development

10:45 – 11:00 am     Break (ISC 1119)

11:00  – 12:30 pm    Session VI – Stem Cells & Regeneration (ISC 1127)

 11:00 – 11:30 am     Featured Speaker: Steve DiNardo (University of Pennsylvania) Resolving zig and zags: Assigning 

planar cell polarity during epithelial morphogenesis

 11:30 – 11:45 am     L.A. Naiche (NCI-Frederick): Defining the origins of hemogenic endothelium, the sourse of

hematopoietic stem cells, by lineage tracing TBX4

 11:45 – 12:00pm      Jenny Lenkowski (University of Michigan): TGFβ signaling in regeneration of the zebrafish retina

 12:00 – 12:15 pm     Rajeswari Banerji (Lehigh University): Development of a model for Roberts Syndrome in zebrafish

regenerating fins

 12:15 – 12:30 pm     Noelle Dwyer (University of Virginia): The vertebrate-specific kinesin, Kif20b, is required for

cytokinesis of polarized cortical stem cells and normal cerebral cortex size

12:30 – 1pm              Awards & Final Announcements (ISC1127)