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Genetics and Development
The Genetics and Development track offers training and research in the field of genetics and developmental biology, which utilizes a variety of animal models to assess gene functions in embryonic development. Modern developmental genetics has become the central organizing field in all traditional disciplines in biology, such as cell biology, molecular biology, anatomy, evolution, and ecology. It has also contributed greatly to more practical fields such as medicine, environmental science and agriculture.
The model systems studied by the faculty members include: Drosophila (fruit fly) for oogenesis and vascular system development; zebrafish for environmental impact on embryogenesis; Xenopus (frog) for neurogenesis; chick for the formation of cardiovascular system; mice for a variety of organogenesis such as limb and follicle development, hematopoiesis, heart formation and mammary development; and human familial diseases for genetic linkage studies. In addition to transgenic and knockout technology, a variety of cell culture systems, including those for human stem cells, are utilized in the research.