EXROP Projects: Leonard I. Zon

Leonard I. Zon

Summary

Leonard Zon's laboratory uses the zebrafish as a model system for understanding vertebrate blood development. Zebrafish blood formation is similar to that of humans, and several mutants have disorders resembling human disease. Thus, it is possible to evaluate in the zebrafish genetic pathways important for vertebrate hematopoiesis.

Summer Lab Size: 40
Local Summer Program: Harvard EXROP Summer Experience
Program Dates: June 10-August 16, 2013 (Dates for 2014 will be similar)

Zebrafish as a Model System for Understanding Vertebrate Blood Development

The zebrafish is an excellent model for understanding blood development. The embryos are transparent, and blood can be seen circulating throughout the body at 24 hours postfertilization. In addition, the zebrafish is an excellent genetics system, and we have collected 26 complementation groups of mutants that affect hematopoiesis. The project will use in situ hybridization to characterize cDNAs from hematopoietic-specific libraries. This will establish where the gene is expressed in the embryo. By studying a number of cDNAs, we will establish a panel of markers that are specifically expressed in hemangioblasts. These cells are bipotential for their ability to make blood cells and vascular cells. Some of these genes will then be injected into zebrafish embryos to determine if over expression of the gene leads to an expansion or a deficit of blood formation. The project will involve molecular biology and an introduction to developmental biology.

Zebrafish as a Model System for Understanding Vertebrate Blood Development

The zebrafish is an excellent model for understanding blood development. The embryos are transparent, and blood can be seen circulating throughout the body at 24 hours postfertilization. In addition, the zebrafish is an excellent genetics system, and we have collected 26 complementation groups of mutants that affect hematopoiesis. The project will use in situ hybridization to characterize cDNAs from hematopoietic-specific libraries. This will establish where the gene is expressed in the embryo. By studying a number of cDNAs, we will establish a panel of markers that are specifically expressed in hemangioblasts. These cells are bipotential for their ability to make blood cells and vascular cells. Some of these genes will then be injected into zebrafish embryos to determine if over expression of the gene leads to an expansion or a deficit of blood formation. The project will involve molecular biology and an introduction to developmental biology.

Scientist Profile

Investigator
Boston Children's Hospital
Developmental Biology, Genetics