Our overall goals are two-fold: first, to elucidate physical principles of development that allow forces and mechanics to shape and instruct embryonic morphogenesis so that we can understand the basis of robustness and birth defects, and second, to develop practical ways to apply those prinicples as well as others derived from basic research on cell and developmental biology to guide self-assembly of engineered tissues.
Some of our more recent projects:
Cytoskeletal control of cell behaviors and physical mechanics of convergent extension and axis elongation.
The role of temperature in regulating biomechanical and developmental processes.
Physical Mechanics of Body Wall Closure.
Control of Mesenchymal-to-Epithelial Transition.
Cell behaviors, collective migration, and tissue mechanics of mesenchymal sheet migration, spreading, and engulfment.
Molecular and mechanical mechanisms that control cell contraction.
The regulation of cell polarity, tissue movement, and traction forces that shape the heart forming region.
Mechanics and roles of active cell rearrangement during neural plate shaping.
Rapid wound healing in complex mesenchymal-epithelial composite tissues.