Winter 2011 Newsletter

University of Michigan, Center for Organogenesis

Directors Corner


Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The Center for Organogenesis has had an exciting and industrious year launching our new programs and planning for the upcoming Organogenesis Symposium. Some of our new programs and initiatives are highlighted below.

Organogenesis Scholars Program

Richard Auchus has been recruited as the first Organogenesis Scholar to join the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Diabetes along with the Endocrine Oncology Program in the Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Acuhus is a world-renowned researcher in congenital adrenal diseases and steroid biology. Dr. Auchus starts on April 1, 2011. 

OSP faculty candidates scheduled for recruiting visits are listed below. We look forward to seeing many of you at the seminars of these excellent scholar applicants.

Nadean Brown, Ophthalmology faculty candidate (visited Feb 14 & 15, 2011). “Notch Signaling Pathway Regulation of Mammalian Lens and Retinal Development”

Jason Spence, faculty candidate in Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology.
Seminar:  Mar 14 @ 4:30-5:30 pm, BSRB Auditorium
“Development of Human and Mouse Intestinal Progenitor Cells”

Sunny Wong, faculty candidate in Dermatology.
Seminar:  Mar 15 @ 12:00-1:00 PM, M3330 Med Sci I
“Stem Cells and Epidermal Wound Repair”

Organogenesis Research Teams:

The first round of Research Team funding attracted 11 Letters of Intent, from which 5 were invited to submit proposals, with 2 proposals receiving funding. Keep your eyes open for the next solicitation for Organogenesis Research Team proposals announced in this newsletter.

“Molecular Basis of Ciliopathies”, Benjamin Margolis, PI (Internal Medicine and Biological Chemistry).
Team Members:  Friedhelm Hildebrandt (Pediatrics and Human Genetics); Kristen Verhey, (Cell & Dev. Biol.); Jeff Martens (Pharmacology).

“Hedgehog Signalomics in Development and Disease”, Deborah Gumucio, PI (Cell & Dev. Biol.).
Team Members:  Phillip Andrews (Biological Chemistry); Benjamin Allen (Cell & Dev. Biol.); Scott Barolo (Cell & Dev. Biol.).

I hope to see many of you at the Organogenesis Symposium on May 13 & 14, 2011 on Engineering Tissues and Organs 

Best regards,
Gary D. Hammer, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Center for Organogenesis

8th International Organogenesis Symposium

May 13 & 14, 2011
“Engineering Tissues and Organs”
Biomedical Science Research Building (BSRB)
Symposium webpage:

Individuals who register online by May 4 will receive free lunch!  Registration and Abstract submission will be available on our website March 1 – May 4, 2011.  Attendance is free but you must pre-register to receive lunch. The speakers, their lecture titles and a tentative schedule are listed below. For more details on speakers, topics, registration, abstract awards and poster abstract submission, visit our website.

Friday, May 13, 2011
  5:00-5:30 pm       Poster set up
  5:30-6:30 pm       Keynote Address by Dr. Anthony Atala.    
                              “Regenerative Medicine: Current Concepts and Changing Trends”
  6:30-7:30 pm       Open Reception – Meet the Speakers – Poster judging begins

Saturday, May 14, 2011
  8:30-9:30 am       Registration and Continental Breakfast
  9:30-12:30 am     Morning Lecture Session
  12:30-2:00 pm     Lunch and Poster Session
  2:15 pm               Poster Award Ceremony
  2:30-4:00 pm       Afternoon Lecture Session

Anthony Atala, M.D.
Director, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine
W.H. Boyce Professor and Chair, Department of Urology
Wake Forest University School of Medicine

Irina Conboy, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Bioengineering
University of California, Berkeley
“Aging, Rejuvenation and Cell Fate Reversal with Myogenic Lineage”
Michael P. Sheetz, Ph.D.
Director of RCE in Mechanobiology
Department of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore and Columbia University
“Cellular Mechanotransduction: Role of Adhesion Assembly and Repeated Protein Stretching”

Jianping Fu, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Integrated Biosystems and Biomechanics Laboratory
Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering
University of Michigan
“Study of Mechanobiology Using Microengineered Elastomeric Micropost Array Systems”

Doris A. Taylor, Ph.D., FAHA
Medtronic Bakken Chair and Director, Center for Cardiovascular Repair
University of Minnesota
“Complex Organ Matrix: It’s Role in Organogenesis”

David J. Mooney, Ph.D.
Robert P. Pinkas Family Professor of Bioengineering
Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
“Polymers to Control Cell Trafficking In Vivo”


Letters of Intent are currently being accepted for the second round of Organogenesis Research Team funding.  This program is designed to provide initial support for the formation of strong investigative teams within the Organogenesis community.  It is expected that research teams receiving seed support will submit a multi-investigator grant proposal during the course of the funding.  Detailed information on the goals of this program and instructions for the letter of intent can be found on the webpage.  Additional inquiries should be directed to Linda Samuelson ( ), Chair of the CFO Research Team Committee.
Research Team webpage:


Seminars are held in the BSRB seminar rooms and begin at 4:00pm.

Date & Host

Seminar Speaker

Seminar Lecture Title

March 8, 2011
Sundeep Kalantry

Kathryn V. Anderson, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair
Developmental Biology Program
Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research

Genetic Analysis of Neural Patterning and Morphogenesis

March 15, 2011
Juanita Merchant

Sir Nicholas Wright, Ph.D.
Professor of Investigative Medicine
Blizard Institute of Molecular Science
Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry

From Stem Cell-Derived Clones to Clonal Evolution in Tumours – Getting to Grips with the Human Model

March 22, 2011
Kristen Verhey & Deneen Wellik

Bradley K. Yoder, Ph.D.
Professor of Cell Biology
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Emerging Roles for Ciliopathy Proteins and the Cilium in Development and Disease

March 29, 2011
Ben Allen

James Briscoe, Ph.D., B.Sc.
Group Leader, National Institute for Medical Research, London

The Gene Regulatory Logic for Reading the Sonic Hedgehog Gradient in the Vertebrate Neural Tube

April 12, 2011
Cheng-Yu Lee

Chris Q. Doe, Ph.D.
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Institute of Neuroscience & Institute of Molecular Biology
University of Oregon

Asymmetric Cell Division of Drosophila Neuroblasts

April 26, 2011
Donna Martin

Robert Hevner, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor, Neurological  Surgery
Research Affiliate, Center on Human Development & Disability
University of Washington

Transcription Factors that Regulate Cerebral Cortex Development


Journal Club is held in room 4515 BSRB at 12:00-1:00pm.  An article or topic of discussion is available on the website prior to the meeting.  A light lunch is provided for all attendees. Please contact Deneen Wellik ( if you would like to give a presentation for one of the open dates in April.
2/24/11    Trainee Presentation            Xiaofeng Zhao, Organogenesis Non-Traditional Postdoc Fellow
3/17/11    Trainee Presentation            Chris Vlangos, Organogenesis/PTSP Postdoc Fellow
3/24/11    Grant Review 101                Deborah Gumucio
3/31/11    Trainee Presentation            Emily Petty, Organogenesis Predoc Fellow
4/14/11    Trainee Presentation            TBA
4/21/11    Faculty Presentations           Scott Barolo
4/28/11    Trainee Presentation            TBA
Journal Club webpage:


The competing renewal deadline for the Organogenesis Training Grant is May 6!  Deb Gumucio, Becky Pintar and Melissa Myers will be contacting all current and former trainees and training grant faculty for updated information in the next several weeks.  We understand this can a nuisance, but please bear with us as we strive to submit the best possible application. Who knows, we may even receive another Mentor Award!  Please provide requested information on a timely basis.  Thanks!


Fellowships webpage:

***** Organogenesis Translational Postdoctoral fellowship application deadline:  April 11, 2011 *****
Again this year, MICHR has partnered with Organogenesis to offer a Postdoctoral Translational Scholars Program (PTSP) fellowship.  This career development award is designed to prepare individuals for independent careers in clinical and translational research. Trainees interested in obtaining training in translational research are encouraged to apply. The PTSP fellowship provides trainees with a $100,000 career development award that can be utilized for up to three years.  You must be a US citizen or US permanent resident to apply. Please contact Becky Pintar or go to the PSTP webpage:

***** NIH Pre and Postdoctoral fellowship application deadline:  July 15, 2011 *****
Applications are being accepted for a fellowship start date of September 1, 2011.  Funding is provided through NIH support via the Organogenesis Training Program.  This fellowship provides two years of support to trainees working in the field of Organogenesis.  Predoc applicants must have Candidacy status; Postdoc applicants must have achieved a Ph.D. or M.D.  Individuals who apply must be US citizens or US permanent residents.  Primary faculty mentors must have an active research program with sufficient funds to provide continuous support for a trainee (NIH or NSF grant or equivalent).  Potential faculty mentors who are not approved Organogenesis training grant mentors may apply for mentorship simultaneously with the NIH fellowship submission.

***** Non-Traditional Postdoctoral fellowship application deadline:  July 15, 2011*****
Applications are being accepted for a fellowship start date of September 1, 2011. This award will provide funding for one year of support ($30,000) to a postdoctoral fellow (non-US applicants only), who wishes to undertake a research project in the field of Organogenesis. Award funding can be used to support stipend or research activities.  Awardees will be expected to participate in all regular trainee activities (course work, seminar series, monthly trainee meetings, journal club meetings, symposium).  Application materials are available on the Fellowships webpage.


Travel Grants: The next deadline to submit an application for a chance of receiving a $500 travel grant is April 1, 2011.  Applications and requirements are available on the website:

Image Submission: The Center will again be hosting a booth at the Ann Arbor Art Fair in July.  If you have a striking image that you would like included in the selection pool, please send it to Becky ( ) or Deb ( ).  Remember, if your image is selected, you will receive 5% of its proceeds.


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