Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2016 Jonathan A. White. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Bradley Justin Davidson


We use tunicate heart founder cells as a model to study how signaling and receptor trafficking can specify cell fate. Tunicate heart founder cells divide asymmetrically passing Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptors (FGFRs) to only their ventral most daughter cells. FGF signaling then specifies the ventral daughters as heart progenitors. Previous work has shown that Caveolin and matrix adhesion are important for localizing FGFRs to the ventral daughters and specifying them as heart progenitors, but the process by which adhesion and Caveolin localizes FGFRs is unknown. To characterize this process, I developed a protocol for live imaging Caveolin and image analysis software to analyze its movement in dividing heart founder cells. A video of labeled Caveolin in heart founder cells reveals that Caveolin internalizes during mitosis and is recycled to the ventral membrane. This has implications for understanding stem cells specification and oncogenesis.