- Harvard Medical School, Tabin Lab
Mechanical Forces and Development: Molecular Control of Physical Forces During Morphogenesis of Vertebrate Gut
Changes in the shape of a material – be it rubber, concrete, cells, or tissue – requires the action of physical forces. Therefore during embryogenesis, the dramatic transformation from a seemingly disorganized mass of cells into the fully patterned adult form necessitates stereotyped regulation of forces at the genetic and molecular level. While great progress has been made in understanding how gene expression and signaling events generate biological pattern, little is known about how molecular cues organize forces to sculpt physical patterns during development. My work aims to address this in two complementary contexts during gastrointestinal morphogenesis in the chick embryo: gut tube formation and intestinal looping. Together these studies provide new insight into the conversion of secreted signals into tissue-level forces that shape the developing embryo.