Signals and forces that control the dynamics of multicellular tissues
April 17, 2017 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Howard Hughes Medical Institute/Sloan Kettering Institute
Jennifer Zallen is an HHMI Investigator at Sloan Kettering Institute. Her lab uses multidisciplinary approaches from cell and developmental biology, physics, engineering, and computer science to study how tissue architecture is dynamically remodeled throughout development. A major morphogenetic event during the development of the embryo is the elongation of the head-to-tail body axis, a process that requires rapid and coordinated movements of hundreds of cells.
Her lab identified the force-generating machinery that drives polarized cell movements during axis elongation in Drosophila, and discovered that these movements are systematically oriented by a global positional code that involves an ancient family of receptors that are widely used for pathogen recognition by the innate immune system. These studies elucidate general principles that link cellular-level asymmetries and mechanical forces to global tissue reorganization.