Fysiologföreningen: Walter Gehring
The Evolution of Light Perception from Cyanobacteria to Humans
Professor Walter Gehring, Biozentrum, University of Basel
Walter J. Gehring is professor emeritus of developmental biology and genetics at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel. He has been involved in studies of Drosophila genetics and development, particularly in the analysis of cell determination and differentiation in the embryo and in transdetermination of imaginal discs. He has made significant contributions to the study of the heat shock genes, various transposons and the homeotic genes which are involved in the genetic control of development. He and his group have discovered the homeobox, a DNA segment characteristic for homeotic genes which is not only present in insects and their ancestors, but also in vertebrates up to man. He has contributed to the development of enhancer trapping methods. He and his collaborators identified Pax-6 as a universal master control gene for eye development. The presence of Pax-6 in all bilaterian animals argues strongly for a monophyletic origin of the various eye-types.
Host: Lars Terenius