George von Dassow
PhD Zoology, U. Washington, 2000
The cells composing invertebrate embryos perform – in a great hurry, synchronously, and in large numbers – most of the fundamental behaviors that characterize all animal cells. My current research focus is the self-assembly and function of the cytoskeleton during embryonic cell division, especially during the induction and maintenance of the cytokinetic apparatus – the poorly-understood machine that actually pinches the cell in two. My collaborators and I use fluorescent-protein probes, micromanipulation, and time-lapse confocal microscopy to describe the dynamics and functional relations among microtubules, actomyosin, and key signaling molecules. While this is my main project recently, I’m generally interested in cell behavior during early development, and in the comparative embryology of invertebrates, especially the evolution and functional physiology of larval forms and adaptations of early development.
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