Mariana R. P. Alves
Mariana R. P. Alves
Co-founder & co-director of Cartas com Ciência
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Co-founder and co-director of Cartas com Ciência. Passionate about science for society with social impact: science education, science philosophy, science & art, international science cooperation. PhD in Biology. 10+ years of science & society experience, including international science cooperation, radio broadcasting, teaching, fundraising and art&science initiatives. International research experience in developmental and molecular biology in Cambridge, Copenhagen, Heidelberg.
August 2017 - present
- PhD Student
- The Crocker group aims to understand the fundamental principles driving development to allow for programming and predictive control of cell fates.
April 2016 - June 2016
- Rotation Student
- Investigating the process of homeostasis and the regulation of adult stem cells with the aim to identify regulatory factors that control stem cell behaviour and are involved in the development of diseases such as cancer.
Purpose Diabetic retinopathy is a neurovascular disease characterized by increased permeability of the blood–retinal barrier, changes in the neural components of the retina, and low-grade chronic inflammation. Diabetic retinopathy is a major complication of diabetes; however, the impact of a prediabetic state on the retina remains to be elucidated....
We previously showed in Drosophila melanogaster embryos that low-affinity Ultrabithorax (Ubx)-responsive shavenbaby (svb) enhancers drive expression using localized transcriptional environments and that active svb enhancers on different chromosomes tended to colocalize (Tsai et al., 2017). Here, we test the hypothesis that these multi-enhancer 'hub...
The natural sciences are not immune to societal values and beliefs. Understanding the interference of these factors is key to protect science from becoming a servant to opportunistic interests.
The pluripotency factor OCT4 is essential for the maintenance of naive pluripotent stem cells in vitro and in vivo. However, the specific role of OCT4 in this process remains unknown. Here, we developed a rapid protein-level OCT4 depletion system that demonstrates that the immediate downstream response to loss of OCT4 is reduced expression of key p...
Developmental enhancers bind transcription factors and dictate patterns of gene expression during development. Their molecular evolution can underlie phenotypical evolution, but the contributions of the evolutionary pathways involved remain little understood. Here, using mutation libraries in Drosophila melanogaster embryos, we observed that most p...
Developmental enhancers are DNA sequences that when bound to transcription factors dictate specific patterns of gene expression during development. It has been proposed that the evolution of such cis-regulatory elements is a major source of adaptive evolution; however, the regulatory and evolutionary potential of such elements remains little unders...
During development, complex gene expression patterns are formed, relying on the spatiotemporal coordination of proteins and genomic regulatory regions, among many other players and layers of processes. Low-affinity binding sites efficiently contribute to transcription through brief interactions with transcription factors. Concentrating transcriptio...
The pluripotency factor Oct4 is essential for the maintenance of naïve pluripotent stem cells in vitro and in vivo. However, the specific role of Oct4 in this process remains unknown. Here, we developed a rapid protein-level Oct4 depletion system that demonstrates that the immediate downstream response to loss of Oct4 is reduced expression of key p...
Understanding how cell identity transitions occur and whether there are multiple paths between the same beginning and end states are questions of wide interest. Here we show that acquisition of naive pluripotency can follow transcriptionally and mechanistically distinct routes. Starting from post-implantation epiblast stem cells (EpiSCs), one route...
We had previously shown in Drosophila melanogaster embryos that low-affinity Ultrabithorax (Ubx)-responsive shavenbaby ( svb ) enhancers drive robust expression using localized transcriptional environments and that active svb enhancers tended to colocalize, even when placed on different chromosomes (Tsai et al., 2017). Here, we test the hypothesis...
Tissue regeneration requires dynamic cellular adaptation to the wound environment. It is currently unclear how this is orchestrated at the cellular level and how cell fate is affected by severe tissue damage. Here we dissect cell fate transitions during colonic regeneration in a mouse dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) colitis model, and we demonstrate t...
Transcription factors bind low-affinity DNA sequences for only short durations. It is not clear how brief, low-affinity interactions can drive efficient transcription. Here we report that the transcription factor Ultrabithorax (Ubx) utilizes low-affinity binding sites in the Drosophila melanogaster shavenbaby (svb) locus and related enhancers in nu...
Naïve pluripotency is a cell state acquired in mammalian development during epiblast formation, in the pre-implantation embryo. It is characterized by the unbiased potential to make all lineages of the adult organism and can be captured in in vitro culture as embryonic stem cells. Oct4, one of the archetypal reprogramming factors, regulates the naï...