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Scholars Day 2005, Wednesday, April 13

Development of a New Zebrafish Based Model System for GI Motility

A new model system exploring gastrointestinal physiology is needed because current therapies for GI motility disorders are lacking. The zebrafish is becoming a popular model for human diseases. This vertebrate shares biological features with humans and is proving to be an excellent model system for human disease. A zebrafish-based model system for gastrointestinal physiology will provide several important experimental advantages: direct visualization of GI motility in optically transparent larvae, and the opportunity to utilize a forward genetic approach to identify novel molecular components determining GI motility. Results will be presented from anatomical studies that identify putative pacemaker cells in the zebrafish gastrointestinal tract, and from functional studies that characterize motility, or the coordinated contraction of the zebrafish gastrointestinal tract. The zebrafish based model system has the potential for the identification of novel genes and mechanisms that regulate GI motility, and may identify new drug targets for treatment of gastrointestinal disorders.

Presenter: Adam Rich (Faculty)
Topic: Biological Sciences
Location: 123 Hartwell
Time: 9:20 am (Session I)

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