Free webinar: Epigenetic Mechanisms in Early Mammalian Development

Early embryonic development in mammals is characterized by major changes in the components of the chromatin and its remodelling. The embryonic chromatin and the nuclear organisation in the mouse pre-implantation embryo display particular features that are dramatically different from somatic cells.

Research in our group focuses on understanding how early mouse development is regulated by chromatin-mediated changes in gene regulation, that is, by epigenetic information. In particular, we are interested in understanding how the transitions in cell plasticity and cell fate are regulated by chromatin-mediated processes.

We postulate that the plasticity of the cells in the early embryo relies on the distinctive heterochromatin features that prevail during early embryogenesis.
What makes the cells in the early embryo capable of supporting such a large degree of plasticity?
How is this plastic state achieved after fertilization and how is this state maintained in the early embryo?

These questions have remained largely unanswered and are central for our understanding of cell plasticity, development, and reprogramming.

During the webinar, I will discuss our most recent findings in light of these questions. Our work will also allow new insights into understanding the biology of the pluripotent stem cells, in particular on their origin and development. From a broader perspective, deciphering the basic mechanisms underlying the earliest steps of mammalian development is essential to understand early aspects of embryonic development, human reproduction and stem cell biology.

- Maria-Elena Torres-Padilla

- Reprogramming and cell fate
- Heterochromatin formation after fertilization
- Nuclear organization and chromatin composition

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