SDB Emerging Models Grant

The Society for Developmental Biology Emerging Models Grant was established in 2016 to fund projects aimed at developing techniques, approaches, community resources, collaborations, and new lines of research to study developmental mechanisms in non-traditional model systems.  The types of projects supported by SDB Emerging Models awards are those that would not be funded by a granting agency due to their preliminary nature.  The goal is to provide resources to promote investigations into new systems that will provide unique information that informs and extends our ideas about how developmental processes occur and are regulated.  Graduate student, postdoctoral fellow and faculty SDB members are all eligible.  Deadlines are December 1 and May 31.

Submission Guidelines

2016 Recipients


Luis Paulo Moura Andrioli
Universidade de São Paulo

Polar lobe formation in the polychaete Phragmatopoma caudate

Spiral development is less well known when compared to other cleavage patterns. In particular, there is a lack of molecular data involving polar lobe formation during the initial cleavages of some mollusks and polychaetes. Polar lobe is a cytoplasmic protuberance formed before cleavage that is then incorporated to one of the daughter cells. It is thought that polar lobe formation provides a mechanism to establish a cell lineage, retaining exclusive cell determinants with organizing activity later in the embryo. Nevertheless, the determinant(s) and the molecular mechanics of polar lobe formation are not known. The marine reef-building polychaete Phragmatopoma caudata is widespread, easy to collect and to maintain in laboratory. It also spawns fertile gametes throughout the year rendering it amenable for in vitro fertilizations. P caudata forms big polar lobes providing conditions to address interesting biological questions on mosaic development and asymmetrical cell division.

Alice Accorsi
Postdoctoral Fellow,
Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Advisor: Alejandro  Sánchez Alvarado

Pomacea canaliculata: a freshwater snail as a model for de novo complex eye regeneration
Regeneration is a fascinating biological process that remains in need of a satisfactory mechanistic explanation. Because most genetic model systems display limited regenerative capacity, developing an organism in which genetics could be used to unravel regeneration would be a significant advance. Because of their life cycle characteristics and their capacity to regenerate, Pomacea canaliculata may provide a much-needed experimental system to overcome these limitations. The capacity of adult P. canaliculata to regenerate de novo complex eyes is the driving theme of this project, which aims: 1) to define the molecular and cellular processes underpinning embryonic eye development; and 2) to develop genome-editing tools to interrogate this remarkable snail development and regeneration. The overarching goal is to lay the foundation to investigate whether developmental programs are or are not reactivated during regeneration, and to establish a novel model system in which to study and functionally dissect the problem of animal regeneration.

Last Updated on 10/27/2016