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Seminar Series – Dr. Erich Kushner

March 27 @ 3:00 pm - 4:15 pm MDT

Presenter Information

Speaker: Dr. Erich Kushner, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at University of Denver

Short Description of Research: To better understand angiogenic processes, the Kushner laboratory uses state-of-the-art microscopy techniques and live-imaging, using fluorescently-tagged versions of cytoskeletal regulatory proteins in vitro and in vivo. This allows us to examine cell behavior and cellular processes during dynamic events of morphogenesis, such as lumen formation. In addition to cell culture and organotypic models of angiogenesis, our lab heavily relies on zebrafish as an experimental platform of vascular development. Zebrafish are fantastic model organisms for blood vessel research as they have extra-uterine development and are completely transparent early in life, allowing for imaging of complex morphogenetic events in vivo. Importantly, this model system also allows us to leverage novel CRISPR/Cas9 technologies and other genetic approaches for genomic editing, creation of light-inducible gene expression systems, conditional tissue-specific gene knockouts and other perturbations for dissecting the contribution of various signaling circuits to angiogenesis during development or in disease-related vascular dysfunction.

Seminar Details

Host: Dr. Allan Albig, Biological Sciences

Title: How we make blood vessels: lessons in lumenization

Abstract: Erich Kushner obtained his B.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biology at Fort Lewis College and a Ph.D. at the University of Colorado in Integrative Physiology. He completed his postdoctoral training at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, investigating mechanisms of blood vessel development. Dr. Kushner is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Denver in the Biological Sciences and Molecular and Cellular Biophysics programs. Dr. Kushner’s research focuses on the biology underpinning blood vessel development, specifically how vesicular trafficking and cytoskeletal remodeling influence this complex process. The coming seminar will focus on his group’s more recent efforts to map the biology behind vascular lumen formation and new in vitro models using microfabrication approaches.

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