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Germ cell nuclear factor (GCNF, NR6A1, RTR) is crucial for reproduction and development. First characterized in adult germ cells, this orphan nuclear receptor has been shown to be required for gamete, placental, cardiovascular, axial and neural tube development. This presentation will discuss the known functions of GCNF in germ cell development, our recent findings in neural crest cell development that expand our understanding of GCNF’s gene regulatory function, and how these findings have laid the foundation for analyzing its role in primordial germ cell development. 



Dr. Emma Moore Zajic is a developmental and cellular biologist interested in understanding the fundamental mechanisms that drive cell migration during embryogenesis, especially in reproductive development. She obtained her PhD in Biology in the lab of Dr. Paul Trainor where she uncovered two novel processes that influence early neural crest cell development – a transcriptional network switch facilitated by GCNF and cell extrusion. Dr. Zajic’s current research is concentrated on elucidating the genetic and cellular programs orchestrating primordial germ cell migration in mammalian development.