Int. J. Dev. Biol. 47: 203 - 211 (2003)
© UPV/EHU Press

My perpetual cycle: from student to researcher to teacher to student ...

Robert Vignali

Università di Pisa, Dipartimento di Fisiologia e Biochimica, Laboratori di Biologia Cellulare e dello Sviluppo, Ghezzano, Pisa, Italy. rvignali@dfb.unipi.it

ABSTRACT This contribution stems from the personal experience of the author regarding how he became acquainted with embryology and how he finally entered the field of developmental biology. It reports his feelings as a student of the Histology and Embryology course as it was taught in the late 1970s, and his present efforts in teaching developmental biology to university students. In the Developmental Biology course at Pisa University today, students are taught the tissue, molecular and genetic mechanisms that regulate development of several model systems. Drosophila is introduced at the beginning, because of the great knowledge that it has brought to the unraveling of the molecular aspects of development and because it allows several basic concepts to be introduced, and vertebrate systems follow. Other topics include the classic experiments on amphibian systems, which are explained in the light of recent molecular advances, as well as the genetically more versatile vertebrate systems such as the mouse.