World renowned developmental and stem cell biologist, Professor Brigid Hogan from the Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, was a recent visitor to Australia.
Professor Hogan has made many innovative contributions to the fields of mammalian embryology and the early development of complex organ systems such as the eye, kidney, heart and lungs. Her laboratory was among the first to apply techniques of molecular biology to study mouse development, initially working on genes encoding extracellular matrix proteins and later on Hox and Fox developmental transcription factors and members of the TGFbeta and BMP families of growth factors.
In the early ‘80s she initiated the Cold Spring Harbor Course “Molecular Embryology of the Mouse”. Through this course and the first edition of the CSH manual entitled "Manipulating the Mouse Embryo", Hogan and her colleagues Frank Costantini and Liz Lacy helped to make the techniques of mammalian developmental genetics and experimental embryology available to a very wide audience.
Her lab is now focused on stem cell populations within the lung. Most recently she has identified different epithelial stem cell populations in the adult lung and has shown how they contribute to tissue maintenance and repair after injury. This work has opened up new ways of thinking about the origin and progression of some serious respiratory disorders.
While in Melbourne Professor Hogan graciously took time out of her busy schedule to meet and mentor a number of young and up-and-coming stem cell researchers. She provided a great insight into her dynamic and extremely successful career and offered many words of wisdom to the early career researchers.
Professor Hogan also gave a wonderful seminar - The life of breath: stem cells of the adult lung - hosted by The University of Melbourne Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience and Stem Cells Australia, and was supported by the Society for Neuroscience.
Professor Hogan was in Australia to attend the 8th Australian Developmental Biology Workshop.
Professor Hogan is Past-President of both the American Society for Developmental Biology and the American Society of Cell Biology. Her service to the scientific community has included being a member of the National Advisory Council of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Co-Chair for Science of the 1994 NIH Human Embryo Research Panel and a member of the 2001/2002 National Academies Panel on Scientific and Medical Aspects of Human Cloning. Hogan is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, USA.