DDW News


Speaker Spotlight: Deborah Gumucio, PhD

Deborah Gumucio, PhD

Deborah Gumucio, PhD
Deborah Gumucio, PhD

Professor; Director of BioArtography project, University of Michigan
Twitter: @grannyfossil


AGA Morton I. Grossman Distinguished Lectureship: Communicate!! The Essential Nature of Crosstalk in Development, Disease and Science

DDW Track:

Basic Science

Date and Time:

Saturday, May 22, 1:30-2:30 p.m.


1.5 hours

Session Description

BioArtography shares striking microscopic images from University of Michigan researcher.

“We are smarter when we listen and stronger when we share.” -Rania Al Abdulla. The objective of this session is to illustrate the truth in this quotation using three examples of the extraordinary power of communication in biological contexts.

First, Dr. Gumucio will introduce the BioArtography outreach project and discuss its power to communicate research breakthroughs in basic and clinical spheres to the lay public. Then, she will examine the dramatic ability of signals from the intestinal mesenchyme (stroma) to facilitate lengthening of the embryonic intestinal epithelial tube; interruption of such communication results in drastically shortened intestines in mice and may be relevant to Congenital Short Bowel Syndrome in humans.

Finally, she will discuss how the process of villus formation presents a textbook example of how back-and-forth communication between epithelium and mesenchyme during intestinal development spawns the growth of a beautiful garden of highly patterned intestinal villi. After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • Understand how cell behavior in the embryonic pseudostratified intestinal epithelium is controlled by communication between the mesenchyme and epithelium, and appreciate that this control is essential for gut lengthening.
  • Understand how Hedgehog ligands, secreted from the epithelium, signal to underlying mesenchymal cells, which in turn, activate a complex signaling network that is responsible for the formation and patterning of intestinal villi.
  • Appreciate the essential nature of communication for cells, science and society.

This session is included in the cost of registration for DDW 2021 and will be available to watch live or on demand until Aug. 23, 2021. Discounted registration rates are available through March 31. View the DDW Online Planner for the full DDW agenda over May 21-23.

Dr. Gumucio is the director of the BioArography Project. Initiated in 2005, BioArtography collates images from University of Michigan labs, where researchers add color stains to microscopic tissues to observe the structure under the microscope. Proceeds from image sales are used to send trainees to meetings and symposia. You can connect with Dr. Gumucio via live chat during the session.

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