A major challenge in biology is to understand how form and function arise in developing embryos. The complex tissue rearrangements that assemble embryos are directed by patterned gene expression and are executed by specialized cell behaviors, so our lab seeks to understand the mechanisms linking systems-level programs of gene expression to discrete cell biological processes in vivo.
To this end, we have adopted an multi-tiered approach that combines systems biology and bioinformatics with novel strategies for in vivo imaging in Xenopus, zebrafish and mice.
Current work focuses on:
~Planar cell polarity (PCP) and actomyosin dynamics during collective cell movement
~Liquid-like organelles and their role in ciliated cells
~Mechanisms of ciliopathic birth defects
~Exploiting evolution to advance cell biology and drug discovery
Ultimately, these studies will shed light on the genetics and cell biology of human birth defects.