UMMS invertebrate researchers extol deceptively simple model system

By Bryan Goodchild and Ellie Castano

UMass Medical School Communications

October 03, 2012

In October, a group of young Latin American researchers will gather in Chile to learn about the enormous potential for discovery that exists in the world of invertebrate model systems. They will be attending the workshop Small Brains, Big Ideas, organized by members of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences community, including recent graduates, current PhD candidates and members of the faculty. The event is intended to introduce the emerging Latin American scientific community to a model system that is sustainable, relatively inexpensive, quick and a potential source of endless discovery.

“The ability to spot something unexpected and follow up quickly is one of the great advantages of the invertebrate system,” said Victor R. Ambros, PhD, the Silverman Chair in Natural Sciences and professor of molecular medicine. “Almost always, observations in invertebrate systems apply to vertebrates.”

The video below features some of the world’s leading invertebrate researchers at UMass Medical School talking about the importance of these deceptively simple organisms to their research.

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Small brains lead to big ideas