Master Class: The Neural Crest and Placodes

Presenter First Name: 
Presenter Last Name: 
Evans, PhD
Year of Presentation: 


Riding the crest and bringing students with you

Fundamentals are important

  • Fascinating progenitor cell population?
  • Impact on different tissues and body regions
  • Etiology behind many congenital defects
  • Potential role in repair

What are you trying to achieve?
Vowel analogy (Burns et al. 2003)

  • Awareness
  • Enjoyment
  • Interest
  • Opinion
  • Understanding

Student engagement

Identifying the audience  

  • Who are the students?
  • What’s the level?
  • Teaching environment
  • Allotted time
  • What do they really need to know? And why?

Providing a model for key developmental character

  • Origins & induction
  • Migration
  • Pluripotency
  • Interaction
  • Transiency
  • Instruction
  • Plasticity

Variety of approaches  

  • The historical journey
  • The regional story
  • The clinical aspect
  • The role of evolution
  • The controversy

Introductions are important  
Providing context

Make it a journey  

  • Historical
  • Experimental
  • Controversial

Taking controversies further  
Dual origin of calvaria – a continuing debate?

Adding clinical relevance  
Abnormalities with a neural crest link
CHARGE syndrome
DiGeorge syndrome
Hirschsprung’s disease
Waardenburg syndrome (1:40000)

  • condition charaterized by sensorineural deafness, pigmental anomalies, other neural crest derived tissues
  • classification into four types
  • autosomal dominant trait
  • WS1 - involvement of PAX 3 mutation


  • What’s the goal?    
  • The audience
  • Setting the scene
  • Match the approach
  • Debate is good
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