UCL Division of Biosciences


CDB Seminar - Mei Zhen

22 February 2023, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

photo of Mei Zhen

Title: Developmental reorganization of the C. elegans motor system

This event is free.

Event Information

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Michael Wright – Cell and Developmental Biology

Talk abstract: An animal’s development is not only determined by its genetic blueprint, but also shaped by its environment. Throughout life, the brain matures yet remains plastic, adapting to responses through changing environments based upon past experiences and predictions of the future. The dynamic nature of circuit wiring and rewiring underlies many critical processes across species, from developmental maturation, to learning and memory.

Our lab works towards a systems-level understanding of how neuron circuits organize wiring changes: Which changes are innate parts of development? Which genetic programs govern innate and learned changes? Which circuits are more likely to change by the environment? How do an animal’s experiences of environments translate into wiring changes?

We use C. elegans to answer these questions, because this is the only system where wiring changes can be compared at single synapse resolution across the entire nervous system by high-throughput electron microscopy. In this talk, I will describe published and unpublished findings that begin to delineate how structural and functional wiring changes occur during the animal’s developmental maturation and how the developing larva’s early life experience alter wiring.

Host: Barbara Conradt

Join Zoom Meeting: https://ucl.zoom.us/j/99574704607

About the Speaker

Dr Mei Zhen

at University of Toronto

Dr. Mei Zhen is the Canada Research Chair in Brain and Behavior, Professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto, a Senior Scientist at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, and a Visiting Professor of Physics at Harvard University. Her work combines electron microscopy, genetics, optogenetics, and electrophysiology to explore how the C. elegans nervous system develops and operates.

More about Dr Mei Zhen