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  • The 20th International Seminar:"Membrane organization importance in ciliogenesis and ciliopathy"by Dr. Christopher J. Westlake, NCI-Frederick, NIH


The 20th International Seminar:"Membrane organization importance in ciliogenesis and ciliopathy"by Dr. Christopher J. Westlake, NCI-Frederick, NIH


Various diseases caused by ciliary abnormalities are called ciliopathy. Analyzing ciliary morphology and formation is very important for understanding the pathogenesis of ciliopathy. Dr. Westlake is engaged in ciliary research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States and is an old acquaintance of Professor ITO Ken-ichi, a chairperson of the Department of Surgery, Division of Breast and Endocrine Surgery. In conjunction with his visit to Japan for an academic conference, Prof. ITO invited him to Shinshu University, and this seminar was realized.
 Prof. ITO moderated this seminar and Dr. Westlake gave a lecture on the mechanism and disease of ciliary formation and image analysis using a 3D electron microscope. It was a hybrid lecture between in-person and online. More than 30 students, graduate students, doctors and researchers joined the seminar. Associate Professor TOMITA Takuro (Department of Molecular Pharmacology), Drs. KAWAGISHI Hiroyuki and FUJII Chifumi (both Institute for Biomedical Sciences) and many researchers and students asked questions and heated up the discussion.
 This seminar was held in collaboration with the Institute for Biomedical Sciences, Shinshu University. It was a rare opportunity to come into contact with the world's most advanced ciliary research, and also a valuable opportunity to learn organelle research methods that combine morphology, functional analysis, and molecular biology. We will continue to provide opportunities to experience the cutting-edge research and expand the perspective of researchers at Shinshu University School of Medicine to the world.

Prof. TANAKA Naoki, Director of International Relations Office and Department of Global Medical Promotion, Shinshu University School of Medicine

Membrane organization importance in ciliogenesis and ciliopathy
Christopher J. Westlake, Ph.D

Senior Investigator
Laboratory of Cell and Developmental Signaling, NCI-Frederick, NIH

The primary cilium is important for multiple signal transduction pathways, including Hedgehog. Defects in cilia formation and function are linked to a large number of human genetic diseases and cancer. This talk will focus on mechanisms important for primary cilia assembly and the association of this process with ciliopathy. Cilia are assembled at the mother centriole and remarkably, many cell types construct these organelles inside the cell before fusion with the plasma membrane. My group is investigating the role of membrane trafficking and shaping proteins in cilia assembly. New advanced imaging approaches including 3D volume electron microscopy will be discussed that are revealing how this cellular organelle takes shape.

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