B. Duygu Özpolat, PhD

Assistant Professor

Developmental, Regenerative and Stem Cell Biology Program
Molecular Cell Biology Program
Plant and Microbial Biosciences Program

  • 314-935-5741

  • 1137

  • McDonnell Hall150-152, Danforth Campus

  • bdozpolat@wustl.edu

  • http://ozpolatlab.org/

  • https://twitter.com/biyolokum

  • germline, reproduction, stem cells, regeneration, imaging, scRNAseq

  • Mechanisms of reproductive cell regeneration and development

Research Abstract:

Reproductive cells are the cells that become eggs and sperm, and then have the potential to give rise to a whole organism. Many organisms (such as hydra, flatworms, earth worms, or sea stars) regenerate their reproductive organs and reproductive cells as a part of whole body regeneration. In contrast, humans and well-established research organisms lack this ability. The mechanisms of regenerating the reproductive cells are not understood but is one of the most impactful regeneration abilities. Understanding the mechanisms of regenerating this cell type would provide insight into the "mother of all stem cells". The goal of our laboratory is to close this knowledge gap and define the cellular origins and molecular mechanisms of germ cell regeneration. What are the embryonic origins of cells involved in reproductive cell regeneration? Can any cell type regenerate reproductive cells, or are there limitations to which cells can replace them? How is the genome integrity maintained in regenerated reproductive cells?

Mentorship and Commitment to Diversity Statement:
You can find my entire diversity statement here. https://wustl.box.com/s/ic60efjs85ccn8nzumtlxu73v37l5ifi
And here is the TL/DR version:

As a woman from the Middle East, who comes from a Muslim background, the importance of inclusivity, diversity, and justice is very close to home for me. I have had first-hand experiences as a minoritized woman in academia that shaped me as a mentor, a leader, and a teacher. I have the following guiding philosophies:
- First, my success will never be at the expense of somebody else’s well-being and happiness. I will always do my best to treat everyone at my lab with dignity and will respect their boundaries.
- Second, I will always strive to lift my students, trainees, and colleagues up and help them become the best version of themselves as scientists and professionals by cultivating a safe growth environment for people of diverse race, gender identity, social class, sexual orientation, and physical/mental ability.
- Third, a growth mindset and open peaceful communication are key characteristics we cultivate in every team member at my lab. If there are issues, we address them directly, do not shy away from giving each other feedback, and accept feedback with grace and gratitude.

As these are my guiding philosophies, I expect my lab members to also follow these principles towards each other as a team.

Selected Publications:

Kuehn E. et al. Segment number threshold determines juvenile onset of germline cluster expansion in Platynereis dumerilii (2021) J Exp Zool B Mol Dev Evol. 2021;1-16

Özpolat B.D. et al. The nereid on the rise: Platynereis as a model system. EvoDevo 12, 10 (2021).

Kuehn E. et al. A scalable culturing system for the marine annelid Platynereis dumerilii. PLoS ONE (2019)

Özpolat B.D. et al. Cell lineage and cell cycling analyses of the 4d micromere using live imaging in the marine annelid Platynereis dumerilii. eLife DOI: 10.7554/eLife.30463 (2017)

Özpolat B.D. et al. Plasticity and regeneration of gonads in the annelid Pristina leidyi. EvoDevo 7:22. (2016)

Last Updated: 11/7/2022 12:17:19 PM

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