Research & Publications
Early mammalian development is a remarkably plastic period during which only a few cells are present and these are directly exposed to their external maternal environment. The microenvironment can influence the molecular pathways directing self-renewal, differentiation and reprogramming, which can transmit through subsequent cell cycles and rewire the entire developmental program. Our lab studies the fundamental principles that regulate phenotypic, metabolic, and morphogenetic processes in early embryonic patterning; and, the causal mechanisms when these dynamic processes go awry. We combine studies involving mouse and human embryos, and their in vitro 3-dimensional stem cell models to investigate how adaptive plasticity directs developmental programming and, the impacts this have on long-term health and disease. By breaking down and building up these stem cell models of early embryos, hidden mechanisms regarding mammalian embryogenesis and the developmental origins of disease can be uncovered.
Embryonic and Fetal Development; Human Development; Stem Cells; Pluripotent Stem Cells; Bioengineering