Women & Science

A Pattern for Life: How a Single Egg Cell Sets the Stage for Development

Date: Thursday, March 15, 2012 Place: 1230 York Avenue at 66th Street
Time: 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m   Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Hall
      The Rockefeller University
      New York City

We inherit half our genome from our father and half from our mother. While this suggests that biological endowment is a 50-50 transaction, mothers actually contribute a far greater share of the wealth, securely packaged in their egg cells, or ova.

Egg cells are very large: in humans and some other animals, the ovum is the only cell that is visible to the naked eye. Egg cells also arrive fully loaded with biological molecules that jump-start the embryo’s development from a single cell to a whole organism. These informational molecules, found only in specific compartments of the egg, are primed to launch and support the developmental program at the moment of fertilization. The mother’s egg provides the information that carries the embryo through its initial rounds of cell division, setting the course that determines the body’s basic plan.

Influential research conducted by Kimberly Mowry, the Robin Chemers Neustein Professor of Biomedicine at Brown University, is helping to explain how information is spatially organized in the egg. Dr. Mowry’s work is elucidating the assembly of informational complexes in egg cells and their transport via subcellular conduits and molecular motors. The mechanisms she studies are critically important in laying down patterns in early embryos that will eventually give rise to organisms of startling complexity. These investigations are unveiling fundamental processes that may be involved in developmental disorders and other health conditions.

Women & Science is delighted to present this guest lecture by Dr. Mowry, who chairs the Department of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry at Brown University. She received a doctorate in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University in 1988 and conducted postdoctoral research at Harvard. Dr. Mowry joined the Brown University faculty in 1992 and was appointed to the Neustein Professorship in 2009.

Marc Tessier-Lavigne, who took office as president of The Rockefeller University in March 2011, will host this event. Before joining the University, he was executive vice president for research and chief scientific officer for the biotechnology firm Genentech.

To RSVP or for more information, click here or contact Laura Votey
at (212) 327-7499 or lvotey@rockefeller.edu.


Honorary Chairman

David Rockefeller

Founding Chairmen

Lydia A. Forbes
Isabel P. Furlaud
Nancy M. Kissinger
Sydney R. Shuman

2017 W&S Chairmen

Judith Roth Berkowitz
Debra Black
Rebecca A. John
Denise Kellen
Samantha Boardman Rosen, M.D.
Patricia P. Rosenwald
Lulu C. Wang

2017 W&S Committee

full committee listing

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