2024 Grass Fellow Guilherme Gainett

Guilherme Gainett

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Department: Pathology and Systems Biology
Start Year: 2024
Starting Institution: Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard University
Current Institution: Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard University
Project Title: The Genomic Basis of Visual System Development in the Atlantic Horseshoe Crab

The Atlantic horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) is an important model for the neurobiology of vision, but the molecular mechanisms that control eye development in this species remain largely unknown. I propose to use spatial quantification of gene expression, single-cell transcriptomics, and genome editing in L. polyphemus embryos to characterize the gene networks that orchestrate the formation of their median and lateral visual systems. This approach will enable revisiting the observation that the eyes of L. polyphemus develop without the input of the conserved transcription factor Pax6. This study will serve as a valuable comparative data point with respect to the compound eye of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, toward a better understanding of the evolution of developmental controls in arthropod visual systems.