Cellular and physiologic mechanisms controlling morphogenesis

   Our laboratory is interested in studying how basic cellular processes define the shape and size of complex multicellular structures such as organs. Fluid movement into enclosed lumenal or intracellular spaces creates hydrostatic pressure that can serve as a driving force for organogenesis and long range morphogenetic events such as axis elongation.

   Our major focus is to study how biological tubes are assembled and to understand the role hydrostatic pressure plays as a developmental force.

Using zebrafish we investigate:

1) Regulation of fluid secretion and the role of fluid pressure in organogenesis.
2) The biogenesis and function of fluid-filled vacuoles in the notochord during embryogenesis and spine morphogenesis.
3) Cellular mechanisms controlling epithelial polarization and lumen formation in the gut tube.