boston harper lecture: insights from novel research organisms: from crustacean limbs to the beauty of butterflies

Featuring Nipam Patel

We are postponing the event until a further date, to be announced; we are sorry for the inconvenience.

Scientists often depend exclusively on so-called model organisms—such as fruit flies, mice, and frogs—for their research. While investigation of these animals has led to incredible advances in both basic and translational biology, they represent only a tiny slice of the diversity of life on earth. In this lecture, Nipam Patel will explore questions that can only be addressed by expanding the repertoire of model organisms, illustrating the sorts of fascinating insights that have already emerged from such research. In particular, he will focus on novel mechanisms for generating stunning colors in butterflies, and how lobsters and their kin have evolved their Swiss Army–knife approach to leg evolution.

The event will begin with a 60-minute welcome reception, followed by the lecture presentation and a postreception.

harper_winter20_boston_nipam-resizedFeatured Faculty: Nipam Patel
Nipam Patel is a leading expert in evolutionary and developmental biology and director of the UChicago-affiliated Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL). Prior to this appointment, Patel held the William V. Power Endowed chair in biology and was a professor in the Departments of Molecular and Cell Biology and Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. He was a faculty member in the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy at the University of Chicago from 1995 to 2003 and a staff associate at the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Embryology from 1991 to 1995. From 1995 to 2010, he was an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He was an undergraduate at Princeton and received his PhD from Stanford.

Patel’s scientific expertise includes the advancement of new research organisms, through the establishment of genetic methods for their manipulation, to address several questions at the interface between development and evolution. The Patel lab works with the crustacean Parhyale hawaiensis to study the evolutionary diversification of body regionalization, appendage patterning, and germline regeneration. Another major area of research in the lab centers on investigating the cellular and genetic basis for structural coloration and transparency in butterflies and moths. Patel is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has served on numerous advisory boards, including the board of directors of the Society for Developmental Biology.

Lecture Details

$10/Maroon Loyalty Society member or recent graduate (College alumni of the past 10 years and graduate alumni of the past five years)
Free for current academic year graduates and current students
Two complimentary registrations for members of the Chicago, Harper, Odyssey, and Phoenix philanthropic societies
Event Details:
6:00 p.m. Registration and networking
7:00 p.m. Presentation and discussion
8:15 p.m. Reception
Parking Information:
Complimentary parking vouchers will be available at registration.
Contact or 773.702.2150.


Date To Be Determined. ( Timezone: Eastern )


Omni Parker House
60 School Street
Boston, MA 02108

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