Northwestern University

Tue 12:00 PM

Microbiology-Immunology Department - Will Ratcliff, PhD

When: Tuesday, February 6, 2018
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM  

Where: Robert H Lurie Medical Research Center, Baldwin Auditorium, 303 E. Superior, Chicago, IL 60611 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Roslyn Taylor, PhD   312.503.1142

Group: Department of Microbiology-Immunology Seminars/Events

Category: Lectures & Meetings

More Info


The Department of Microbiology-Immunology Seminar Series

“Exploring the Origin of Multicellularity via Experimental Evolution and Engineering”

Will Ratcliff, PhD / Georgia Institute of Technology

Hosted by the  M-I Dept. Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis Training Grant (IMPTG) Postdocs and Graduate Students / Coordinated by Roslyn Taylor, PhD, IMPTG Trainee


The origin of multicellularity was one of the most significant innovations in the history of life. Our understanding of the evolutionary processes underlying this transition remains limited, however, mainly because extant multicellular lineages are ancient and most transitional forms have been lost to extinction. We bridge this knowledge gap by evolving novel multicellularity in vivo, using baker’s yeast and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii as model systems. In this talk I will cover recent work examining: 1) how cells evolve to form multicellular clusters, 2) how these clusters become ‘Darwinian individuals’ capable of adaptation, 3) how multicellular life cycles that include single-celled genetic bottlenecks arise in evolution (and why this is important), and 4) how nascent multicellular entities evolve to be more complex.

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