Katherine Rogers, PostDoc
Hometown: Rock Springs, Wyoming, USA
What are you working on?
I’m trying to understand the mechanisms that pattern embryos during development. We know a lot of the key genes involved in this process, but how they actually work together to build an embryo is still a mystery.
Why is it interesting?
All of us started life as a single cell. How do you build a complex animal out of just one cell? It’s an impressive feat. In addition to intellectual curiosity, understanding how embryogenesis works will support medical research, like efforts to grow organs in the lab.
How are you going to find out?
To understand a process, it often helps to manipulate it and see how your manipulations affect the outcome. I’d like to manipulate signaling in zebrafish embryos and see how that affects different aspects of embryogenesis. To do this, I’m borrowing light-sensing proteins from plants, hooking them up to proteins that control signaling in zebrafish embryos, and using these “chimeric” proteins to manipulate signaling using light. I can turn on signaling in the embryo exactly where and when I want to using lasers or LEDs. This will help me test ideas about how embryogenesis works.
Your favorite thing outside of science?
I listen to a lot of podcasts! For anybody interested in science, you might enjoy Radiolab and Science Vs.
Updated 20/02/2017 9:54am