Lilianna (Lila) Solnica-Krezel, Ph.D.
Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Distinguished Professor and Department Head
We are investigating the cellular and molecular genetic mechanisms underlying vertebrate gastrulation, a crucial period of embryogenesis during which the germ layers are formed and then shaped into the vertebrate body plan with organ rudiments. Gastrulation entails a combination of inductive events that specify cell identities with massive cell movements and rearrangements that fashion the body plan. The complex and dynamic nature of gastrulation makes it a challenging but intellectually fascinating object of study. In humans, 25-50% of pregnancies end in early miscarriages of a largely unknown genetic origin. Moreover, the molecular regulation of tumor growth and metastasis show striking parallels to those underlying gastrulation movements, underscoring the practical significance of gastrulation research.
We are addressing the mechanisms of gastrulation in the zebrafish (Danio rerio), a system that affords a powerful combination of forward and reverse genetic analyses with embryological, cellular and molecular methods. We are also employing embryonic stem cells and tumor cell lines to test whether the new genes and mechanisms we implicate in zebrafish gastrulation are also involved in human development and disease. Our current experiments are focused on the roles of the Wnt, Wnt/Planar Cell Polarity, Stat3 and G-protein coupled receptor signaling pathways and epigenetic factors in the regulation of embryonic polarity and gastrulation movements.
- Sepich DS, Solnica-Krezel L. Intracellular Golgi Complex organization reveals tissue specific polarity during zebrafish embryogenesis. Dev Dyn. 2016 Jun;245(6):678-91.
- Gray RS, Wilm T, Smith J, Bagnat M, Dale RM, Topczewski J, Johnson SL, Solnica-Krezel L. (2014) Loss of col8a1a Function during zebrafish embryogenesis results in congenital vertebral malformations. Developmental Biology 386, 72-85.
- Li, X., Roszko, I., Sepich, D.S., Hamm, H. Marlow, F.L., Solnica-Krezel, L. (2013) The adhesion GPCR Gpr125 modulates Dishevelled distribution and planar cell polarity signaling. Development 140, 3028-3039.
- Wu, S., Shin, J., Sepich, D.S. and Solnica-Krezel, L. (2012) Chemokine signaling inhibits β-catenin during axis formation in zebrafish. PLoS Biology 10, e1001403.
- Solnica-Krezel, L. and Sepich, D.S. (2012) Gastrulation – Making and Shaping Germ Layers. An. Rev. Cell & Developmental Biology 28, 687-717. (Review)
- Sepich, D.S., Pawlicki, S. Usmani, R. and Solnica-Krezel, L. (2011) Wnt/PCP signaling controls intracellular position of MTOC during gastrulation convergence and extension movements. Development 138, 543-542.
- Gray, R., Roszko, I., Solnica-Krezel, L. (2011) Planar Cell Polarity Pathway – Coordinating morphogenetic cell behaviors with embryonic polarity. Developmental Cell 21, 120-33. (Review)
- Jessen, J.R., Topczewski, J., Bingham, S., Sepich, D.S., Marlow, F., Chandrasekhar, A. and Solnica-Krezel, L. (2002) Zebrafish trilobite reveals new roles for Strabismus in gastrulation and neuronal movements. Nature Cell Biology 4, 610-615.
Solnica-Krezel, L., Stemple, D.L., Mountcasle-Shah, E., Rangini, Z., Neuhauss, S.C.F., Malicki, J., Schier, A.F., Stainier, D.Y.R., Zwartkruis, F., Abdelilah, S., and Driever, W. (1996) Mutations affecting cell fates and cellular rearrangements during gastrulation in zebrafish. Development 123, 67-80.
For a complete list of Dr. Solnica-Krezel's publications, click here
- 1985 Magister (M.Sc.) in Molecular Biology (Highest Honors), Warsaw University, Warsaw, Poland
- 1991 Ph.D. in Oncology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research
Research and Professional Experience
- 1991 - 1995 Postdoctoral Fellow: In the laboratory of Dr. Wolfgang Driever, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston A genetic screen for mutations affecting zebrafish embryogenesis.
- 1/1996 - 7/2001 Assistant Professor: Department of Molecular Biology, Vanderbilt University
- 8/2001 - 7/2005 Associate Professor: Department of Biological Sciences, Vanderbilt University 8/2005 - 5/2010 Professor: Department of Biological Sciences, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
- 7/2006 - 5/2010 Martha Rivers Ingram Professor of Developmental Genetics: Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
- 5/2009 - 5/2010 University Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, and Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University
- 1/2010 - Professor and Head, Department of Developmental Biology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
Honors and Awards
- 1978, 1979 Champion, National Contest in Biology for High School Students, Poland
- 1985 Magister (M.Sc.) with Highest Honors in Molecular Biology, Warsaw University
- 1986 Distinguished Publication Award, Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education
- 1989 Wisconsin Power and Light Foundation Fellowship in Cancer Research, McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, University of Wisconsin, Madison
- 1997 Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Award, March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation
- 1998 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences, The Pew Charitable Trusts 2005 Distinguished Faculty Member, Vanderbilt University
- 2008 Nominee Mentor of the Year 2008, the VUMC Postdoctoral Association
- 2016 Academy of Science’s Fellows Award
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- Faculty Members
- Lilianna (Lila) Solnica-Krezel, Ph.D.
- Irving Boime, Ph.D.
- Angela Bowman, Ph.D.
- Aaron DiAntonio, M.D., Ph.D.
- Douglas F. Covey, Ph.D.
- Gregory A. Grant, Ph.D.
- Shin-ichiro Imai, M.D., Ph.D.
- S. Kerry Kornfeld, M.D., Ph.D
- Kristen Kroll, Ph.D.
- Craig Micchelli, Ph.D.
- Kelly Monk, Ph.D.
- Samantha A. Morris, Ph.D.
- Jeanne Nerbonne, Ph.D.
- David M. Ornitz, M.D., Ph.D.
- Zachary Pincus, Ph.D.
- Stacey Rentschler, M.D., Ph.D.
- John H. Russell, Ph.D.
- Andrew S. Yoo, Ph.D.
- Bo Zhang, Ph.D.
- Adjunct Faculty
- Joint Faculty Members
- Research Interests
- Emeritus Faculty
- Former Faculty
- Model Systems