15 December 2021
Stowers Institute recruits distinguished developmental biologist
Renowned scientist Tatjana Sauka-Spengler, PhD, to bring her established research program to Kansas City in early 2022
Development and Regeneration, Genetics and Genomics, Evolutionary Biology, Molecular and Cell Biology, Systems Biology
Zebrafish, Chicks, Sea lamprey
The Sauka-Spengler Lab develops and applies novel methods and technologies to study the molecular interactions that determine cell function in the neural crest, nervous system, and heart. The lab focuses on decoding gene regulatory networks involved in development, regeneration, disease, and evolution.
The lab investigates the gene regulatory circuitry involved in early steps of neural crest formation, the mechanisms and molecules that control the potential fate of neural crest cells, and the regenerative capacity of these cells in chicks, zebrafish, and sea lamprey.
The Sauka-Spengler Lab analyzes additional gene regulatory networks responsible for regulation of the neural crest, blood-forming cells, and other processes such as injury- and cancer-induced inflammation and organ regeneration.
The lab also researches how species-specific features have emerged during evolution and which mechanistic changes in gene regulatory programs of invertebrates led to this evolution. They employ comparative studies across animal species, using systems-level approaches to align gene regulatory circuitries obtained at single-cell resolution and computational, statistical, and AI-based methods to integrate the data.
Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Tatjana Sauka-Spengler, Ph.D., a physicist and developmental geneticist, is a Professor of developmental genomics and gene regulation at the University of Oxford. She joined the Stowers Institute as an Investigator in 2022.
A primary research focus of the Sauka-Spengler Lab is on neural crest development in chick, zebrafish, and sea lamprey research organisms. In chicks, the lab investigates chromatin dynamics and architecture during early neural crest cell development along with the gene regulatory network involved in Hirschsprung Disease.
For Tatjana Sauka-Spengler, moving her lab to Stowers means being able to ask questions that she has never been able to. Listen as she explains more.
Candido-Ferreira IL, Lukoseviciute M, Sauka-Spengler T. Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2022;S1084-9521:00239-7.
Hu Z, Sauka-Spengler T. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2022;75:101928.
Williams RM, Sauka-Spengler T. STAR Protoc. 2021;2:100507.
Chong-Morrison V, Sauka-Spengler T. Front Physiol. 2021;12:634440.
Ling ITC, Sauka-Spengler T. Nat Cell Biol. 2019;21:1504-1517.
Williams RM, Candido-Ferreira I, Repapi E, Gavriouchkina D, Senanayake U, Ling ITC, Telenius J, Taylor S, Hughes J, Sauka-Spengler T. Dev Cell. 2019;51:255-276.e7.