Miki Ebisuya

Miki Ebisuya did her under graduate and PhD research at Kyoto University, Japan. After getting her PhD in 2008, she became a group leader at Kyoto University in 2009. Her lab moved to RIKEN in 2013, and then moved again to EMBL Barcelona, Spain, in 2018. The research interest of her group is reconstituting developmental mechanisms in cell culture. 

Human time vs. Mouse time: in vitro segmentation clock as a model system

Different species have different tempos of development: larger animals tend to grow more slowly than smaller animals. My group has been trying to understand the molecular basis of this interspecies difference in developmental time, using the segmentation clock as a model system. 

The segmentation clock is the oscillatory gene expressions that regulate the timing of somite formation from presomitic mesoderm (PSM) during embryogenesis. We have recently succeeded in inducing PSM from both human iPS cells and mouse ES cells, detecting the oscillation and traveling wave of segmentation clock in vitro. Interestingly, the oscillation period of human segmentation clock was 5-6 hours while that of mouse was 2-3 hours. Taking advantage of our in vitro system and simple mathematical models, we have been comparing the genome sequences and molecular processes of the segmentation clock between human and mouse to explain the interspecies difference in the oscillation period.