September 22, 2023: Nutritional Control of Nematode Development: Plasticity and Pathology

Ryan Baugh, PhD

Associate Professor of Biology

Associate Professor of Cell Biology

Affiliate of the Duke Regeneration Center

Affiliate of the Center for Genomic and Computational Biology



A central challenge in developmental biology is to understand how animals maintain developmental robustness despite fluctuations in environmental conditions such as nutrient availability. Nutrient-responsive pathways govern gene expression and metabolism to adapt to starvation, and their dysregulation causes cancer, diabetes, and aging. Understanding how animals cope with starvation is a complex problem that requires integrative analysis at the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels and over different time scales. The Baugh lab uses the nematode C. elegans to investigate how animals respond to starvation in a developmental context. Life in the wild is feast or famine for C. elegans, and larvae reversibly arrest development after hatching without food. This developmental arrest provides a powerful model to study acute and long-term consequences of early life starvation. Dr. Baugh will present an overview of research in the lab, including mechanisms of starvation resistance, nutritional control of gene expression and metabolism, adult consequences of early life starvation, and intergenerational adaptation to starvation.

About the speaker: Ryan Baugh is an Associate Professor of Biology and Cell Biology at Duke University. He is also an affiliate of the Duke Regeneration Center and of the Center for Genomic and Computational Biology. The Baugh Lab is interested in phenotypic plasticity and physiological adaptation to variable environmental conditions. They are using the roundworm C. elegans to understand how animals adapt to starvation using primarily genetic and genomic approaches. They are studying how development is governed by nutrient availability, how animals survive starvation, and the long-term consequences of starvation including adult disease and transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. 

Friday, September 22, 2023, 12:00-1:15pm Eastern

Field Auditorium Room 1112, Grainger Hall, (9 Circuit Drive, Durham, NC)

This seminar will also be presented live via Panopto. Click HERE for the livestream.

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