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Developmental Biology

zebrafish embryosImage: Zebrafish embryos. Courtesy David Traver.


The cellular and molecular biology underlying cell growth, differentiation and morphogenesis is being explored in a number of laboratories in the CMM Department. Pathways being studied in developmental contexts include those involved in growth factor signaling, cell cycle control, extracellular matrix modulation and transcriptional regulation of cell fate specification. A variety of model organisms such as Caenorhabditis elegans, zebrafish, and mice are being analyzed using genetic, biochemical, and bioinformatic approaches to explore fundamental developmental mechanisms of the nervous system, epithelial organs, the hematopoietic system and other tissues. Moreover, cellular reprogramming and stem cell biology are novel tools being used to understand important evolutionary pathways that contributed to the development of modern humans. Several faculty members are studying the interfaces of regenerative medicine and developmental biology with the aim of bringing this knowledge to bear on the treatment of human diseases.