Our research is directed at elucidating mechanisms underlying morphogenetic processes in development. Understanding how cells change shape, move to specific sites, and alter their behaviors to form organs is one of the great mysteries of developmental biology. Elucidating these mechanisms is not only important for our knowledge of development, but also because they underlie many human diseases, including cancer and degenerative pathologies. We primarily use the model system C. elegans in our research, and combine powerful genetic and systems biology approaches with advanced live-cell imaging to reveal novel insights into morphogenetic mechanisms such as cell invasion (image above), basement membrane remodeling, cell division, cell-cell adhesion and germ-somatic cell interactions.
We are grateful to the March of Dimes, American Cancer Society, Pew Foundation, Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Hargitt Foundation, Duke University, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation for supporting our research.