The annual PhD prize was awarded to Thomas JUAN at the autumn meeting of the Doctoral School. On this occasion, Thomas presented a summary of his thesis work done in Max FURTAUHER’s team at iBV, entitled Identification of new genes implicated in laterality establishment in zebrafish”.

During his PhD Thomas has studied different aspects of the developmental program that governs the establishment of zebrafish left-right asymmetry. He discovered that the actin-binding motor protein Myosin 1D, which was previously identified as a key regulator of Drosophila left-right asymmetry, also controls the formation and function of the zebrafish left-right organizer. This work provides for the first time a unifying mechanism for the establishment of left-right asymmetry in both invertebrate and vertebrate organisms and identifies Myosin1D as an evolutionarily conserved regulator of animal left-right asymmetry.

Thomas’s work was published in Nature Communications:

Juan T, Géminard C, Coutelis JB, Cerezo D, Polès S, Noselli S, Fürthauer M. Myosin1D is an evolutionarily conserved regulator of animal left-right asymmetry. Nature Communications 2018 May 16;9(1):1942. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-04284-8.

Thomas has now joined Didier Stainier’s lab at the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research, Bad Nauheim, Germany.

 Congratulations to Thomas and good luck with his future research!

Prize handed to T. Juan (right) by V. Van de Bor (left, board member of the Doctoral School). Thomas did his PhD work in M. Furthauer’s team (center).