Education and Training
University College London, London, UK
Cell & Developmental Biology
Co-investigator on the Cancer Research UK sponsored grant entitled “Environmentally forced differentiation: exploring how the environment prevents uncontrolled proliferation of neuronal progenitors in the zebrafish retina” (2010-2012)
Damon Runyon Cancer Research Fellowship for “From Proliferation to Differentiation: Understanding the genes that coordinate the transition from cell proliferation to differentiation in the vertebrate retina” (2005-2008)
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA
Program in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology
Ph.D. thesis “The Molecular Mechanisms of Mitochondrial Division” Advisor: Robert E. Jensen
Duke University, Durham, NC
B.S., Biology; B.A., Chemistry
During my PhD studies on mitochondrial dynamics and inheritance in Rob Jensen’s lab, I became interested in the nervous system because of its intense energy requirements. Interestingly, mutations in proteins important for mitochondrial dynamics are linked to several neurodegenerative diseases, including optic atrophy or blindness. After taking an introductory course on Vision Research at the Woods Hole MBL, and then the zebrafish neurodevelopment course the next year, I immigrated to London and began to explore vertebrate eye development and neurogenesis.
Many stages of eye development are fascinating. Currently, I am concentrating on events that require the coordination between cell proliferation and differentiation. The zebrafish retina is a perfect model for these experiments because it has a stem cell niche termed the ciliary marginal zone (CMZ). The CMZ contains neuroepithelial cells that are spatially ordered with respect to cellular differentiation, with the youngest and least determined cells are found nearest the periphery, the proliferative retinoblasts are in the middle, and the quiescent, mature cells are most central. We can use markers that are expressed in different regions of the CMZ to examine the behavior of neural progenitor cells in the ciliary marginal zone and dissect how cells transition from progenitor to post-mitotic neuron.
In addition to studying the ciliary marginal zone, I am also very interested in understanding how early neurogenic decisions are made in the retina. I have begun to test the relative contributions of cell intrinsic timing mechanisms and extrinsic cues to the initiation and propagation of neurogenic signals in the differentiating retina. Through the use of timelapse microscopy and mosaic analysis, I hope to better understand how cells switch from proliferation to differentiation in the neural retina. Below are some movies that illustrate the importance of cell cycle progression for retinal neurogenesis.
Cerveny, K.L., Cavodeassi, F., K. J. Turner, T. A.
de Jong-Curtain, J. K. Heath, and S. W. Wilson (2010)
The zebrafish flotte lotte mutant reveals that the local retinal environment promotes the differentiation of proliferating precursors emerging from their stem cell niche
Cerveny, K.L., Tamura, Y., Zhan, Z., Jensen, R.E., and Sesaki, H. (2007)
Regulation of Mitochondrial Fusion and Division
Cerveny, K.L., Studer, S., Jensen, R.E., and Sesaki, H. (2007)
Yeast Mitochondrial Division and Distribution Requires the Cortical Num1 Protein
Cerveny, K.L., and Jensen, R.E. (2002)
The WD-repeats of Net2p interact with Dnm1p and Fis1p to assemble mitochondrial fission complexes
Cerveny, K.L., and Jensen R.E., (2002)
Building a Mitochondrial “Divisisome”
Cerveny, K.L., McCaffery, J.M., and Jensen, R.E. (2001)
Net2p interacts with Dnm1p to mediate mitochondrial division. Abstract.