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In-Class Teaching

-Histology and Embryology

For: DDS Students, DH Students

(Course Director, Lecturer)

-Developmental Biology

-Evolution of notochord genes and regulatory regions

For: Master Students at NYUCD 

Ph.D. Students in the NYU Medical School Developmental Genetics Program

In-Lab Teaching

For: DARE/Honors in Research Program for DDS Students --

Our Students learn molecular biology techniques, generate transgenic Ciona embryos, follow their development, test hypotheses on the function of notochord genes and regulatory regions, present posters and... have fun (see Random Stuff page) :)


At Weill Cornell Medicine, our lab participated in the 'Gateway to the Laboratory' Program, which is designed to increase the diversity of students who are undertaking dual degree (MD-PhD) training and provides the students with the opportunity and incentive to explore careers in research and medicine while being hosted in a lab for a 10-week period during the summer. 

At NYUCD, we have hosted undergraduate students from other Colleges in New York for their research projects and Honors theses, as well as research volunteers for their pre-med and pre-dental training.


Our Undergraduate students:

Todd Regnier, Gateway to the Laboratory Program, Summer 2004, Summer 2005

Gary Esses, Cornell University, Summer 2006

Erin O’Connor, Gateway to the Laboratory Program, Summer 2007

Alexandra Szulc, Cornell Univ., Summer 2007, Summer 2008

Irina Pyatigorskaya, Hunter College, 09/2007 – 09/2009

Yusuff Abdu, University of Connecticut, Summer 2012 Elen Gusman, honors thesis at Hunter College, 06/2012 – 09/2013

Slavena Salve Nissan, Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, 12/2012 – 05/2014

Sahana Somasegar, Cornell Univ., Summer 2013 Victoria Simonne Humphrey, Traveler's Summer Research program, 2013

Gretchen Neymar Marrero Lozada, University of Puerto Rico, Summer 2013

Stella Chin, Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, 10/2013 – 05/2014

Lisa Torre, Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, 04/2015 – 06/2016

Cindy Chou, Honors thesis at Barnard College, Columbia University, 04/2015 – 06/2016

Cara Chow, Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, 04/2015 – 06/2016

Riley Figueroa, Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) 06/07-07/28/2021 (remote, due to the Covid-19 pandemic).

Ciona embryos are translucent, easy to generate and to culture, and develop quickly. At the temperature of 20C, a Ciona embryo goes from a zygote to a ~2,400-cell swimming tadpole within about 2 days! These embryos are ideally suited for short-term research projects, such as rotations or summer projects, as well as for more complex research goals.

Time-lapse video of muscle development

in Ciona embryos.

Passamaneck et al., 2007 

(C) Di Gregorio Lab

Time-lapse video of notochord development

in Ciona embryos.

Rhee et al., 2005  (C) Di Gregorio Lab

9th International Tunicate Meeting on the Biology of Ascidians

Together with the Christiaen Lab, our Lab has co-organized and co-sponsored the 9th ITM, held in New York in July 2017. The meeting was attended by over 150 researchers from all over the world.  

Tunicate Meeting Group Photo.jpg
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