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Conference speaker

Jennifer Zallen


Jennifer Zallen

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, USA

Jennifer Zallen, PhD, is a member of the Sloan Kettering Institute and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. She received her B.A. from Harvard and her Ph.D. from the University of California, San Francisco with Cori Bargmann. She did her postdoctoral research with Eric Wieschaus at Princeton and joined the faculty at Sloan Kettering Institute in 2005.

The Zallen lab uses multidisciplinary approaches from cell and developmental biology, physics, engineering, and computer science to understand how large-scale tissue structure arises from events that occur on a molecular and cellular scale. Her lab discovered the assembly and remodeling of multicellular rosettes as a conserved mechanism for epithelial formation and convergent extension in flies and mammals. In addition, her lab identified the force-generating machinery that drives polarized cell movements during convergent extension in Drosophila and discovered that these movements are guided by a global positional code provided by an ancient family of receptors that are widely used for pathogen recognition by the innate immune system. These findings reveal general principles that link molecular signals to the physical forces and collective cell behaviors that generate tissue structure.