Rishita Shah

Undergraduate Discipline

BS, University of Texas at Austin. PhD, University of Pennsylvania. Postdoctoral Research Associate, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Developmental biologist with a special interest in organogenesis and regeneration. Author of articles on effects of chromatin modifiers in embryonic hematopoiesis and musculoskeletal tissue regeneration in zebrafish. Previously taught at Bunker Hill Community College. SLC, 2018-

Undergraduate Courses 2017-2018


Stem Cells and Regeneration

Advanced , Seminar—Spring
Do we have what it takes to fix ourselves? Can we generate our own spare parts to cure diseases? This advanced course will delve into the emerging world of stem-cell therapies and regenerative processes. We will explore the natural world of regeneration, studying classical examples in zebrafish and axolotl. For decades, we have been fascinated by these models and the system’s ability to regrow limbs and self-repair traumatic injuries. This course will explore the cellular mechanisms that facilitate complex pathways of organ repair. Our discussions will continue by exploring new therapeutic technologies that exploit these developmental processes and the applications of adult stem cells in modern disease interventions. This course will also consider the implications of stem-cell genome editing and cloning in the future of human medicine.

Developmental Biology

Intermediate , Seminar—Spring

A one-cell embryo is the ultimate stem cell; from this modest starting point, every tissue required for a self-contained organism can be generated. This survey course will explore which pathways that single cell takes to grow and specify into the complex organisms that we are. We will use classical model systems (fly, worm, fish, frog, chick, and mouse) to explore this fascinating process. Our discussion will begin by understanding how germ cells are specified and the signals that dictate how they multiply and differentiate after fertilization. Next, we will investigate how an embryo is patterned, exploring axis-formation, morphogenesis, homeotic genes, and organogenesis. Finally, we will consider these processes in the context of human development and their relevance to modern medicine.