News & Events


Charles Seminar Series 2021-22: Decoding cell-fate decisions in pigment cell lineage: From cues to codes, with Guest Speaker Dr Vivek Natarajan (Online via Zoom)

Published: 27 October, 2021


Date of Talk: 27th October 2021 at 12PM

Location:  Online via Zoom

Talk TitleDecoding cell-fate decisions in pigment cell lineage: From cues to codes

Speaker Details: Dr Vivek Natarajan, CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi, India


Short Biography:  After his initial training in Biochemistry, Vivek received PhD in Cell Biology and Signal Transduction in 2006. His stint with skin biology began during his postdoctoral work at the National Institute of Immunology, Delhi, where he worked on the etiopathogenesis of vitiligo and investigated the cellular basis pigment regulation. He is now a group leader at the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi since 2010 and works on fate decisions in pigment cell lineage. His team uses cultured cells as well as zebrafish as a model, and couples state of the art genomic tools to understand state transitions in melanocytes. The key motivation of his team is to investigate the role of melanocytes in skin homeostasis,
and in pigmentary disorders of skin.

Abstract for talk:  Melanocytes assume various forms that are discernible through development, homeostasis and skin diseases. Understanding this continuum is critical to elucidate the behaviour of melanocytes and arrive at a meaningful solution to conditions such as vitiligo, melasma and melanoma. I will present some of the ongoing work from the laboratory on the specification of melanocytes as well as their directed migration that is needed to establish the stem cell pool. Our recently published work describes the role of a histone variant in melanocyte specification. Ongoing work on the role of plexin-semaphorin signalling axis that not only catalyses melanocyte migration, but also fine tunes melanocytes to respond to stem cell establishing and maturation cues will be discussed.

If you are UCD-affiliated or a Consultant Dermatologist in Ireland and would like to register for this talk, please email