Understanding Mechanisms of Embryonic Development and Disease

Our goal is to define cellular mechanisms of embryonic tissue development at the single cell level, using live tissue imaging and molecular tools. We use the tooth and salivary gland as models, in order to distinguish general mechanisms from organ-specific processes. While the genetic regulation of development in these organs is relatively well established, the cellular processes have remained elusive, because of the lack of tools to visualize them. Our research combines molecular developmental biology with advanced cell imaging to address these crucial mechanistic questions. This knowledge is important for undertanding fundamental mechanisms of development and disease processes in which these mechanisms are dysregulated.